A free-trade agreement (FTA) signed this week by the EU and New Zealand will protect masses of products with EU geographical indications.
The EU and New Zealand signed the FTA on 9 July, the European Commission announced. Under the deal, EU annual exports could potentially grow by up to €4.5 billion and bilateral trade is expected to grow by up to 30% within a decade.
The European Commission said that tariffs will be “eliminated as of day one” on key EU exports such as pig meat, wine and sparkling wine, chocolate, sugar confectionery and biscuits.
Close to 2,000 EU wine and spirit names, such as Prosecco, Polish Vodka, Rioja, Champagne and Tokaji, will be protected by the FTA. Additionally, 163 renowned traditional EU products with “geographical indications” such as Feta and Comté cheese, Lübecker Marzipan and Elia Kalamatas olives are set to be protected in New Zealand.
In its statement revealing details of the FTA, the European Commission said that the agreement takes into account the interests of “sensitive agricultural products”. This includes several dairy products, beef and sheep meat, ethanol and sweetcorn.
There will be no “liberalisation of trade” for these sectors, the statement continued. Zero or lower tariff imports from New Zealand will be allowed in limited amounts through tariff rate quotas.
Ursula von der Leyen, president of the European Commission, said that New Zealand is a key partner for the EU in the Indo-Pacific region.
She commented: “This modern free trade agreement brings major opportunities for our companies, our farmers and our consumers, on both sides. With unprecedented social and climate commitments, it drives just and green growth while reinforcing Europe’s economic security.”
Negotiations of the FTA have been ongoing since June 2018, and were concluded in June 2022. The signed agreement will now be sent to the European Parliament for its consent. The deal can enter force following the completion of the ratification procedure in the EU and New Zealand.
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