The Taiwan FTA

July 13th, 2013 at 1:00 pm by David Farrar

Fran O’Sullivan writes:

New Zealand notched another historic world “first” this week in its relationship with Greater China with the signing of the free trade deal. Have you heard about it yet?

Forging the deal with the politically isolated island will enable our dairy, beef, kiwifruit and apple exporters to gain greater access to what is already New Zealand’s 12th- largest trading partner. John Key also launched the Asean strategy, which was well overdue given the ink on that particular deal is long dried. …

For political reasons – China’s sensitivity over “One China” – the Taiwanese deal goes by the humungous title of “Agreement between New Zealand and the separate customs territory of Taiwan, Penghu, Kinmen and Matsu on Economic Co-operation (Anztec)”.

It’s an extraordinary mouthful.

But New Zealand can’t simply sign a straight-out with Taiwan, because mainland China already has one with us and while New Zealand has a closer economic partnership with the special administrative region of Hong Kong, in China’s eyes Taiwan is a mere province.

Key is correct to say the deal is “momentous on a number of fronts”.

Not only is New Zealand the only country in the world to have a free trade agreement with all parts of China – Hong Kong, Taiwan and the mainland; it is also a good opportunity for our exporters as bilateral deals with South Korea and India are still way down the pipeline.

It is a coup to be able to get an FTA with both China and Taiwan.

The drum out of Wellington is that the deal was signed at a low-key ceremony at the local university to avoid upsetting Beijing. But who (seriously) believes that the ink would ever have been applied without Beijing’s tacit approval.

New Zealand’s trade negotiators, led by former diplomat Charles Finny, deserve congratulations.

Pity our politicians couldn’t break out the champagne in public – but they have secured another deal where some of New Zealand’s competitors can’t.

The benefits to NZ of FTAs has been huge. As a remote trading nation, they are our lifeblood. Very sad that two parties in Parliament consistently oppose them.

Tags: ,

13 Responses to “The Taiwan FTA”

  1. Matt (226 comments) says:

    Wonder if this had anything to do with the recent beef problems with the PRC

    Vote: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  2. kowtow (8,175 comments) says:

    So we still “kowtow” to the Emperor in Peking……..

    how “free’ is free trade?

    Vote: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  3. Inky_the_Red (751 comments) says:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/economics-blog/2013/jul/05/free-trade-talks-public-corporate-interest
    how does it measure up for people?

    Vote: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  4. Kea (11,987 comments) says:

    kowtow, would you prefer we do not trade with China and end up with an economy like Haiti ?

    I think it is great we are trading with the ancestors of Maori.

    Vote: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 2 You need to be logged in to vote
  5. Jack5 (5,007 comments) says:

    Kea posts at 1.,47:

    …I think it is great we are trading with the ancestors of Maori…

    The origins of the Polynesians are in the indigenous people of Taiwan, who now make up only 2 per cent of the population. They are not Han Chinese, and have been in Taiwan for 8,000 years. They are poor and marginalised, and there will be bugger all NZ trade with them.

    Trade with China is fine, but we are now at least as economically tied to China as we were to Britain. With China in a credit bubble, it’s no time to celebrate NZ being so dependent on China trade. The ideal model is a small but diversified export country like Switzerland or Finland. NZ is not faced with an inevitable choice of China or Haiti.

    The Financial Times on China’s credit bubble:

    http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/f76a5202-e241-11e2-87ec-00144feabdc0.html#axzz2YtEKW5HM

    Vote: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 2 You need to be logged in to vote
  6. Jack5 (5,007 comments) says:

    Incidentally, Switzerland and China have just signed a free trade agreement.

    China has signed FTAs with 10 countries and is negotiating with another six.

    Until Australia gets its China FTA, I wonder if any of the other countries with a China FTA is as dependent on China as NZ is.

    Vote: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 2 You need to be logged in to vote
  7. WineOh (629 comments) says:

    Kudos to our diplomatic team. We appear to have made excellent advances in trade agreements in recent years, despite the naysayers who heavily criticized the budget cutbacks in MFAT.

    Vote: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  8. kowtow (8,175 comments) says:

    jeez

    I’ve never said don’t trade with China….I question the cheer leaders on how free and open their economy is.

    Vote: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  9. Rajiv (29 comments) says:

    Free Trade with all kinds of Chinese???…. Hong Kong, Mainland China and now Taiwan…

    Winston Peters is NOT happy about this and will hold on to New Zealand people’s $158,000 out of spite…

    Vote: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1 You need to be logged in to vote
  10. Kea (11,987 comments) says:

    I’ve never said don’t trade with China….I question the cheer leaders on how free and open their economy is.

    kowtow, I surprised to hear of your concern over the Chinese economy. I was only [selfishly] thinking of what is in this for NZ, and feel very humbled by your warm concern for our Chinese brothers. :)

    Vote: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1 You need to be logged in to vote
  11. hj (6,836 comments) says:

    Former Fonterra chairman Sir Henry van der Heyden has warned exporters to be wary of fraudulent behaviour when doing business in China, saying: “Don’t ever trust them … never.”
    Speaking at a business women’s conference in Tauranga, Sir Henry said doing business in China was full of surprises.

    “You’ve got to go and do business with your eyes wide open,” he said
    http://www.odt.co.nz/news/business/258773/dont-trust-chinese-ex-fonterra-head

    of course he didn’t mean it…… :)

    Vote: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 2 You need to be logged in to vote
  12. hj (6,836 comments) says:

    I wouldn’t mind betting key and co realize that there are great risks in any relationship with China.. if they don’t get things their own way.

    Vote: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  13. adze (2,088 comments) says:

    I just wish the bulk of our exports became a little more diverse… it always seems to be meat, milk, kiwifruit and logs.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.