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New Zealand Red Meat Sector Welcomes Economic Agreement with Taiwan

22 November 2013

NEW ZEALAND - Beef + Lamb New Zealand (B+LNZ) and the Meat Industry Association (MIA) have welcomed the announcement that the Economic Cooperation Agreement (ECA) between New Zealand and Taiwan will soon come into effect.

The Agreement, which was signed in July, will commence on 1 December, the government announced earlier today.

“All tariffs on beef exports will be gone by 2015 and for sheep meat exports the tariffs will be eliminated by 2017. This is an excellent result,” Beef + Lamb New Zealand Chief Executive, Dr Scott Champion said.

The ECA also includes mechanisms to address any technical or non-tariff barriers that have the potential to restrict New Zealand export opportunities.

“This Agreement will make New Zealand’s red meat exports more competitive in what is already the sector’s eighth-largest export market, and it also complements New Zealand’s existing free trade agreements with China and Hong Kong,” Champion said.

New Zealand’s $208 million of sheep and beef product exports to Taiwan in 2012 incurred around $18 million in tariffs.

MIA Chairman Bill Falconer said Taiwan is a key market for the New Zealand sheep and beef sector, with red meat consumption steadily increasing there over the past decade.

“Taiwan is an important beef market, being our third largest by value (NZ$134 million) and fourth by volume (19,647 tonnes) in 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 sheep meat is also strong in Taiwan, with New Zealand exporting NZ$52 million (9,510 tonnes) of sheep meat in 2012. New Zealand exports predominantly frozen sheep meat there and historically that’s included a high proportion of mutton for traditional dishes,” Falconer said.

B+LNZ and MIA represented New Zealand sheep meat and beef farmers 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.

TheMeatSite News Desk

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