Taiwan, New Zealand Seal Trade Agreement
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TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Consumers in Taiwan are expected to enjoy lower prices on a variety of New Zealand imports after the two countries signed an economic cooperation agreement (ECA) yesterday.
It is the first ECA that Taiwan has signed with a developed country.
The Agreement between New Zealand and the Separate Customs Territory of Taiwan, Penghu and Matsu on Economic Cooperation (ANZTEC) was signed in Wellington, New Zealand at 1:30 p.m. local time.
ANZTEC contains 25 chapters covering a wide range of topics, including industrial and agricultural products as well as trade in service. The manufacturing sector is expected to benefit the most from the agreement.
Once the pact takes effect, 99 percent of Taiwan's exports to New Zealand will enjoy tariff-free treatment immediately, while a small portion of products including plastic plates, some textiles, glass bottles, and steel bars and wiring are expected to have their tariffs cut to zero within four years.
As a result of signing the pact, local consumers will enjoy lower prices on agricultural products such as kiwifruit, apples, cherries, beef and milk powder. The Chung Hua Institution for Economic Research predicts that zero tariffs will be applied on kiwifruits by January 2014 at the earliest. Due to lower prices, imports of red wine and apples from other countries are also expected to drop.
For trade in goods, Taiwan will liberalize 98.88 percent of its tariff lines, while New Zealand will liberalize 100 percent. The pact is highly beneficial to Taiwan's industrial products, according to the Ministry of Economic Affairs. …