ASEAN FTA good for New Zealand dairy industry
Published date: 06 October 2008
Fonterra CEO Andrew Ferrier described the conclusion of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations free trade agreement (ASEAN FTA) negotiations as excellent news for the country’s dairy industry.
“ASEAN is one of our key markets and Fonterra’s sales were last year worth around $2.3bn. The ASEAN market represents almost a quarter of our total exports and the tariffs we pay range anywhere up to 10%. While the details have still to be finalised, we understand that tariffs will be effectively phased out for all dairy products. Along with the obvious savings, the abolition of tariffs will enable us to be more competitive in these markets and further lift our sales.
“Achieving tariff elimination maintains the high standard in New Zealand’s FTAs with other countries, and will be an important precedent in future negotiations with large trading partners.
“It has been a big year for FTAs for New Zealand. With the China FTA signed earlier this year, this deal now in effect means New Zealand has in one year gained the rights to tariff-free dairy access to all of southeast Asia and China - a tremendous achievement.
“With so many countries involved, the ASEAN FTA negotiations had been highly complex and it’s a credit to government and the negotiating team that we’ve ended up with such a good result for New Zealand,” Ferrier said.