Brexit has been hailed as an opportunity for Britain to renew its commitment to international trade as an independent nation. New Zealand High Commissioner to the UK Bede Corry suggested a trade deal between his country and Brexit Britain would help London towards strengthening its international position. Speaking of the trade opportunities, Mr Corry said: “There are also key strategic reasons for pursuing this agreement in integrating our two economies.
“The FTA would send a signal to the global community about our shared commitment to free, rule-based trade against the headwinds of protectionism which are all too evident.
“And in support of recovery from the ravages of the pandemic.”
Mr Corry also insisted a new deal with New Zealand could pave the way for the UK to striking additional deals with signatories to the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), which include Australia, Brunei and Japan.
He added: “The FTA would bring the United Kingdom, a values-based partner for New Zealand, more closely into our region, the Indo-Pacific, acting as a stepping stone for the United Kingdom into CPTPP membership.
“Next, New Zealand companies have highly-developed business connections throughout the Indo-Pacific, including established distribution chains growing two-way investment, and considerable marketing expertise that UK businesses would be able to leverage.
“And the FTA would allow our two governments to develop new rules bilaterally, rules that reflect our respective interests, rules that can be building blocks for subsequent FTAs and a multilateral trading system more widely.”
The High Commissioner also suggested the two countries could draw on their partnership and trading expertise to dictate significant changes to the regulatory system.
He added: “On this last point, we see great opportunity for the UK in New Zealand to be leaders in new and emerging areas of trade policy, whether that be in the interface of trade policy for climate action and sustainability or in respect of the digitalization of trade.
“We both have the opportunity to be crafting new rules that take the global trade agenda forward.”
New Zealand is one of three countries without a trade agreement with the European Union the UK has begun talks with for a new FTA.
The election of Joe Biden in the United States reignited speculation about a potential trade arrangement strengthening ties between the UK and leading members of the Commonwealth like Austalia, Canada and New Zealand.
Entrepreneur Jonathan Saxty wrote in the Daily Telegraph: “For post-Brexit Britain, now is surely the time to go for CANZUK, the move for a closer alliance or union between Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the UK.
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“In economic terms, CANZUK represents a market of over 130-million people which, while currently smaller than the EU, has a much higher GDP per capita, far greater population and economic growth rates, more compatible economies, as well as a common language, legal system, political system and head of state.
“Plus, of course, geography has never mattered less – whether for industry (just look at shipping costs) or for services (including financial services and the burgeoning fintech sector).”
Mr Saxty also suggested the election of Erin O’Toole as leader of the Canadian Conservatives could bide well for a new agreement with Canada, Australia and New Zealand due to her support for the so-called CANZUK agreement.