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Govt sets new free trade target

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 23/03/2017

The government has set a target of having 90 per cent of New Zealand's goods exports covered by free trade agreements by 2030 - at present it's 53 per cent.

Prime Minister Bill English announced Trade Agenda 2030 on Friday, saying the May budget would include $91.3 million over four years to help achieve the target.

"It's important that we remain an open and outward-facing country focused on creating and embracing trade opportunities, and Trade Agenda 2030 outlines our plan for achieving that," he said.

"It will see us seek to forge new trade agreements, maximise the benefits of existing ones, focus more on tackling non-tariff barriers, and work even more closely with our exporters to help them create and succeed in new markets."

Trade Agenda 2030 includes:

* The opening of a new embassy in Dublin, Ireland and a new High Commission in Colombo, Sri Lanka

* $35.3m to the Ministry of Primary Industries to focus on boosting the value of primary sector exports, including through targeting non-tariff barriers

* $20.3m to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade to enhance its trade work

* $6.7m to MFAT to strengthen international networks

* The establishment of a ministerial advisory group to ensure the public is better informed on trade issues

* The development of a single point of contact to allow exporters to alert the government to non-tariff barriers and to get better information and support.

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