Media release, 5 November 2019
New Zealand business leaders have reacted positively to today’s news that the text of the Regional Comprehensive
Economic Partnership (RCEP) trade agreement has been agreed by fifteen of the sixteen participants (all except India).
“We are pleased that this important milestone in the RCEP process has been reached, although we are naturally
disappointed that India is not yet ready to sign on. There is also more work to do on the market access front to secure
the final deal” said NZIBF Executive Director Stephen Jacobi.
“From the outset, NZIBF has viewed the RCEP as a means to provide important impetus to broader trade liberalisation
efforts, even though New Zealand has FTAs with most of the participants. The inclusion of India provided an opportunity
to remove trade barriers and expand trade and investment with an important partner with whom we do not have an FTA. The
strategic and commercial benefits of RCEP will be increased should India ultimately join, but the agreement as it stands
is of significance in a world where such agreements are becoming rare.
“Without knowing the final market access package, it is difficult to judge the overall value of the deal, but we remain
hopeful that, along with improved trade rules, the RCEP will provide for new, commercially meaningful access on key
products of export interest, including to India.”
The RCEP negotiations were launched in late 2012 comprising 16 countries including the members of ASEAN, Australia,
China, India, Japan, Korea and New Zealand. Once fully implemented, it will be the world’s largest trading bloc
representing 39% of global GDP; a significant share of global trade and nearly half the world’s population.
“We thank New Zealand Ministers and trade officials for their efforts to advance New Zealand’s interests at the RCEP
negotiating table over the last seven years and wish them well as they seek to bring the deal to a successful
conclusion” said Mr Jacobi.
NZIBF is a business organisation which aims to generate wealth for New Zealanders by helping ensure that New Zealand
enterprises are fully integrated and engaged in the global economy and New Zealand’s global competitive position is