Beef + Lamb New Zealand (B+LNZ) and the Meat Industry Association (MIA) say the signing of the Economic Co-operation Agreement (ECA) between New Zealand and Taiwan is a significant outcome for the New Zealand sheep and beef sector.
Eliminating all tariffs on beef within two years and sheepmeat within four years is important news B+LNZ Chairman, Mike Petersen and MIA Chairman, Bill Falconer said.
“This ECA will eliminate tariffs with Taiwan and it complements New Zealand’s existing free trade agreements with China and Hong Kong,” said Petersen.
New Zealand exports of red meat products to Taiwan incurred around $18million in tariffs for the calendar year 2012. The ECA with Taiwan will eventually eliminate these tariff payments giving New Zealand’s red meat products a competitive edge in the market, he said.
The ECA also includes mechanisms to address any technical or non-tariff barriers that could restrict New Zealand trade opportunities should they arise.
Falconer said Taiwan is a key market for the New Zealand sheep and beef sector with red meat consumption steadily increasing over the past decade. New Zealand exported $208 million worth of sheep and beef products, including co-products, to Taiwan for the year ending December 2012.
“Taiwan is an important beef market, being our third most important by value ($134 million) and fourth by volume (19,647 tonnes) as at December 2012. Taiwan is New Zealand’s largest market for primary beef cuts, with New Zealand beef being well received because of its grass-fed origin and superior nutritional benefits.
“Demand for New Zealand sheepmeat is also strong in Taiwan, with New Zealand exporting $52 million (9,510 tonnes) of sheepmeat in 2012. New Zealand exports are predominantly frozen sheepmeat and historically have included a high proportion of mutton for traditional dishes,” Falconer said.
B+LNZ and MIA represented New Zealand sheepmeat and beef farmer and meat company interests, respectively, alongside government when the agreement was being negotiated. Both organisations support the Government’s current FTA negotiations with other significant trade partners in the Asia-Pacific including the Trans-Pacific Partnership, Korea, India and more recently, the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership.