Tuesday, 12 July 2016 13:55

McClay receives Brexit assurances at G20

Written by 
Trade Minister Todd McClay. Trade Minister Todd McClay.

Trade Minister Todd McClay has received strong assurances that New Zealand's trade interests will not be adversely affected as a result of the Brexit vote.

McClay has met the European Union (EU) Trade Commissioner Cecelia Malmström, United Kingdom (UK) Minister of State for Trade and Investment, Lord Price, and trade and economic ministers from Germany, France, Spain, Italy, and the Netherlands at the G20 trade ministers meeting in Shanghai.

"I have sought, and received, assurances that the trade relationship we share with the EU and the UK will continue and that New Zealand will be involved In any discussions between the EU and UK in relation to anything that involves our trade," says McClay.

"All parties spoke of the need for calm reflection and an orderly process of discussion on trade."

McClay says Commissioner Malmström has also confirmed that New Zealand remains on track to negotiate an FTA with the EU.

"Considerable effort has been put in by both sides over the past few years as a high quality trade agreement is in all parties' interests.

"We have a lot in common with the EU, including working toward further trade rules around agriculture, SMEs, and services in the World Trade Organisation. This cooperation will continue, as will our access to the EU market, valued at $8.6 billion per year," says McClay.

In his discussions with Lord Price, McClay expressed interest in negotiating a bilateral trade agreement with the UK once they were in a position to do so.

"Timing of a bilateral agreement would be dependent on discussions the UK must first have with the EU, but we agreed that it is in the interests of both the UK and New Zealand to negotiate a high-quality agreement.

"In the meantime, I have confirmed that the New Zealand government will work closely with the UK on trade matters and will look for opportunities to cooperate as soon as possible.

"I expect this will include ministerial engagement and meetings between trade officials. We remain available to provide assistance to the UK over the coming months and will do everything possible to promote our joint trade interests and trading relationship with both the EU and UK," says McClay.

McClay has received invitations to visit Brussels and London in the coming months to further these discussions.

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