Negotiators from the European Union and New Zealand have signed a joint trade deal. In addition, New Zealand will become part of the Horizon Europe research and exchange programme. The EU has earmarked billions for research and innovation.
At the signing, Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission, said the deal could increase trade between the two partners by an estimated 30 percent.
New Zealand's EU investment could increase by up to 80 percent, trade commissioner Valdis Dombrovskis said. According to the EU countries, the export of the EU to New Zealand alone could grow by 4.5 billion euros per year.
The trade agreement has been negotiated for five years. The agreement is subject to approval by the EU countries and the European Parliament, and is expected to enter into force in 2024.
The agreement promises new opportunities and economic benefits for both regions. Meanwhile, the previously stalled negotiations between the EU and Australia now appear to be in their final stages, as an Australian trade delegation is expected in Brussels this week.
Damien O'Connor, New Zealand's Minister for Trade and Export Growth, described the agreement as an opportunity to open the doors to new opportunities. This trade agreement was expected to generate significant economic benefits.
The European agricultural and dairy industry will also be affected by this trade agreement. While the agreement will benefit New Zealand agricultural producers, European farmers and dairy producers are concerned about potential competition. They fear that cheaper imports from New Zealand could reduce their market share and depress prices.
To address these concerns, provisions have been included in the agreement to protect Europe's agriculture and food sector.
While similar trade talks with Australia have previously stalled over a disagreement over the dairy paragraph, those recently resumed talks now appear to be in their final stages. Australia's trade minister, Don Farrell, will travel to Brussels this week to break the deadlock.
Earlier, both sides said they were determined to reach an agreement, but Australian farmers have called on their government to refrain from a treaty with the EU if it remains unfavorable to them.