China deal vital in post-Covid trade recovery

26 January 2021

The Forest Owners Association says the Upgrade of the China Free Trade Agreement, signed today, is a much awaited and vital step for the future of New Zealand primary exports globally.

Association President, Phil Taylor, says our forest and wood products industry exports $3.3 billion of forest products a year to China.  Like most of the other parts of the primary sector, forestry relies heavily on the Chinese market.

“New Zealand signing the Upgrade on the Free Trade Agreement, not only brings immediate benefits to our industry, but is a reminder of the value of mutually agreed rules-based trade agreements globally.”

“The first impact in China will be through lower duties and streamlined documentation.  In the longer term, it consolidates our trade access for China and opens the way for more processed timber exports going there and increasing New Zealand’s current 10 percent market share of forest products imported into China.”

“Our industry participated in a major forest industry delegation to China in 2018, to play our role in improving our access to China, and this government led effort then is producing results now.”

Phil Taylor says the global significance of the Upgrade lies in the context of threats to free trade in the post-Covid trading world.

“Protectionism was gaining traction in so many countries before the pandemic, and it’s showing many signs of now getting worse in economies hit hard by Covid.”

“The New Zealand forest industry has been identified by government as increasing further processed exports by $2.6 billion in the next ten years.  Our government needs to make sure that the markets which have the potential to buy these exports are not closed to us.”

“More rules-based trade deals to keep those doors open are vital.”

Phil Taylor

‘ph 027 487 6890