April 12, 2024

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The Spanish presidency begins with the signing of a free trade agreement between the European Union and New Zealand.

The Spanish presidency begins with the signing of a free trade agreement between the European Union and New Zealand.

The Spanish Presidency of the Council of the European Union began in Brussels with the signing of a free trade agreement between the European Union and New Zealand. European Commission Executive Vice-President and Trade Commissioner, Valdis Dombrovskis; New Zealand Trade and Export Development Minister Damien O’Connor; and Spain’s Permanent Representative to the EU Marcos Alonso, European Commission President Ursula van der Leyen and New Zealand Prime Minister Chris signed the agreement in the audience. Hipkins.

Hector Gomes, Minister of Industry, Trade and Tourism, said, “This is an excellent start for the Spanish leadership of the Council of the European Union, where one of the priorities is the expansion and diversification and strengthening of our commercial relations. Our supply chains, as well as the destination of our exports and investments”.

The agreement seeks to reduce barriers to bilateral trade and ensure that European companies can compete on a level playing field with companies from countries that already have trade agreements with New Zealand, promoting sustainable and inclusive economic growth.

The EU-New Zealand Free Trade Agreement has a broad content, through which improvements are obtained in access to the respective markets for goods, services, public procurement, as well as the protection of intellectual property, including EU geographical protection. There are 566 Spanish Geographical Indications such as Rioja, Ribera de Duero, Vinagre de Jerez or Manchego cheese.

The agreement also includes leading sustainability commitments in areas such as the environment, basic labor rights and commitments on gender. It is the first trade agreement with specific provisions on reforming trade and fossil fuel subsidies; Allowing for liberalization of environmental goods and services along with a list of such goods and services once they come into effect; Includes a chapter on sustainable diets; It has innovative commitments to the circular economy, deforestation, carbon pricing and protecting the marine environment; and includes a specific chapter on SMEs to help small and medium enterprises to export.

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As noted by Hector Gómez, “With this agreement, we begin our presidency’s path by strengthening our commercial relationship with the Indo-Pacific region and promoting sustainable and inclusive economic growth in both markets. The agreement signed promotes the EU’s open strategic autonomy and the diversification of supplies and export markets.” It demonstrates the unwavering commitment of the EU and New Zealand to the benefits of trade openness as a way to increase”.

Negotiations for a free trade agreement with New Zealand began in June 2018. After twelve rounds of negotiations, these concluded on June 30, 2022. With the agreement already signed, the agreement can come into force once the European Parliament approves it and New Zealand ratifies it.

Bilateral trade relations Spain – New Zealand

New Zealand is Spain’s 85th trading partner. Over the last three years, a stable trade relationship with New Zealand has been maintained, leaving a small surplus for Spain.

In the last financial year of 2022, Spanish exports to New Zealand reached 290.87 million euros, 15% more than in 2021. The most exported products in 2022 were vehicles and parts (21.2 %), meat products (11.2 %), fats. and oils (8.9%), machinery and equipment (8.1%) and equipment and electrical goods (5.7%).