01 December 2023


The European Parliament has formally approved the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with New Zealand, a significant step in bolstering EU's global trade partnerships. Ratified with 524 votes in favour, the agreement underscores a strong consensus among European legislators. This FTA, hailed as a "gold standard" deal, is distinguished by its enforceable commitments to crucial international standards, including those related to climate change under the Paris Agreement and labour norms established by the International Labour Organization. Additionally, the agreement ensures comprehensive protection for EU geographical indications (GIs), covering an extensive range of wines, spirits, and 163 notable EU food products.

The EU-New Zealand FTA promises significant economic benefits, marked by the removal of tariffs and enhanced access to markets. Upon its entry into force, the agreement will eliminate all New Zealand tariffs on EU exports, and after seven years, 98.5% of EU tariffs on New Zealand goods will be lifted. This arrangement is expected to substantially boost bilateral trade, which stood at €9.1 billion in 2022. With the EU as New Zealand's third-largest trade partner, the FTA could increase trade by 30% and European investments in New Zealand by over 80%, as projected by the EU Commission.

Following the Parliament's endorsement, the agreement awaits formal approval from member states, anticipated shortly. Upon ratification by New Zealand, the FTA is expected to come into effect by mid-2024. Initiated in 2018 and concluded after 12 rounds of negotiations, this FTA represents a strategic expansion of the EU's influence in the Pacific region.

Source: European Parliament