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31st May 2023

Australia and New Zealand trade deals come into effect

New free trade agreements between the UK, Australia and New Zealand came into effect on 31 May.

Paul Butterworth, CEO, at Chambers Wales South East, South West and Mid, said:

“Chambers Wales South East, South West and Mid are delighted to see the Australia and New Zealand free trade agreements come into place. These trade deals represent progress and forward thought to support economic growth and trading in difficult circumstances.

“The Australia and New Zealand trade deal is worth £42bn annually and will provide over £3bn to boost the Welsh economy by 2035. This deal is a significant boost economically that can be used to bolster skills, develop greater opportunities to export and demonstrate that Wales supports new market trading growth that supports sustainable Welsh business growth.

“The agreement has a unique focus on green innovation, trade and exports which will become more vital as Wales drives towards being a global leader in net zero technologies.

“This deal will provide great benefits to Welsh businesses who trade with Australia and New Zealand along with a wider benefit to Wales as a whole. Trade deals like this agreement continue to give Wales the opportunity to demonstrate itself, our businesses and our skills to the world.”

BCC’s Head of Trade, William Bain, said:

A new era of international trade will begin today as the first trade agreements agreed by the United Kingdom since it left the European Union come into force.

Combined bilateral trade with Australia and New Zealand amounts to over £15bn per year. Inward foreign direct investment from both countries into the UK is £16.6bn, and in the other direction represents a combined £42.1bn.

By 2035, the Australia deal could boost our economy by £2.3bn per year, and the New Zealand deal by £0.8bn, over the long-term, with benefits felt across the UK.

For UK firms exporting green goods and services to New Zealand, the agreement offers world leading terms. As the World Trade Organisation recently pointed out, if we get the right fundamentals in place, we can double green trade exports by 2030.

Of course, the success of any free trade agreement comes down to whether businesses use it and across the UK only 10% of firms are currently exporting.

If we are to realise the UK’s ambition to be at the forefront of the continuing revolution in life sciences, digital services and green innovation we must look to trade more.

A recent BCC survey found almost a quarter of firms (23%) said finding a business partner or distributor overseas would encourage them to either start exporting or export more. 

There are strong Chambers of Commerce in both Australia and New Zealand that are affiliated to the BCC, and we will be working with them to get the most from these trade deals for all our economies.

Having those contacts, that local market understanding and full recognition of the rules and procedures that apply in a destination country can make all the difference between success and failure.

The message to any business thinking about selling goods and services to New Zealand and Australia is a simple one – there really is no better time to take the plunge.

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