New Zealand and the European Union are to pursue a free trade pact – but don’t expect any action until at least 2015.
Prime Minister John Key made the announcement in The Hague after meeting European Commission president Jose Manuel Barroso and European Council president Herman Van Rompuy. He described it as “quite an important” meeting
Two-way trade between New Zealand and the 28 members of the EU totals $16 billion a year.
Key said the EU has, for the first time, agreed to consider a free trade agreement.
But he admitted an ambitious EU-US trade deal, as well as a pact with Canada, will take priority for the Europeans.
The EU is highly protectionist so a free trade pact would be a very good thing.
However as indicated, not likely to happen anytime soon. However an agreement for one to be considered is a worthwhile start.