India, New Zeland FTA negotiaitions from Aug 10-14

By Amandeep Kaur, IANS,

Auckland : India and New Zealand will have their second round of negotiations to finalise a free trade agreement from Aug 10-14 in New Delhi.

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The ministry of foreign affairs and trade here said besides goods, this round will cover negotiations on services, investment, customs procedures, technical barriers to trade and their remedies.

Negotiations will also continue on the agreement to commitments on intellectual property, competition policy, government procurement, trade and labour, and trade and environment, added the ministry.

The first round of negotiations were held earlier this year.

“Following the interaction that has taken place in a number of areas in the interim, we expect that the next round will be an opportunity to engage in more detailed discussions on our range of interests in the FTA and to begin to seek agreement on the broad shape of much of the agreement,” said Anthony Wenceslaus, chairman, India New Zealand Business Council.

India is now New Zealand’s second fastest growing export market. Faster growth in India is offering several opportunities for New Zealand companies.

New Zealand has also emerged as one of the hot destinations for India’s exports. It is estimated that two-way trade can grow four times to $4 billion in 10 years if a FTA is signed.

“India maintains significant tariff barriers on a number of goods of trade interest to New Zealand exporters (a 50 percent tariff on apples and 60 percent tariff on some dairy lines) and we will in these negotiations press for the elimination of such tariffs,” Wenceslaus added.