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EU, New Zealand Sign Free Trade Agreement

The European Union (EU) and New Zealand signed their free trade agreement (FTA) here on Sunday to boost bilateral trade.

The deal will cut some 140 million euro (154 million U.S. dollars) a year in duties for EU companies from the first year of application; bilateral trade is expected to grow by up to 30 percent within a decade, and EU’s annual exports could potentially grow by up to 4.5 billion euros, according to a press release from the European Commission (EC).

EU investment into New Zealand has the potential to grow by up to 80 percent, it added.

The agreement also includes sustainability commitments, including respect for the Paris Climate Agreement and core labor rights, said the statement.

“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, ” said Ursula von der Leyen, president of the EC.

The agreement is now sent to the European Parliament for its consent. Following the completion of the ratification process in both the EU and New Zealand, the deal enters into force, the statement said.

Negotiations for the agreement started in June 2018. (1 euro = 1.10 U.S. dollar) 

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