New Zealand Embassy Manila, The Philippines

AANZFTA outreach event in Ortigas

Deputy Head of Mission Andy White with Jenni McEwin (Australian Department of Foreign Affairs), Deputy Commissioner Dr Prudencio M. Reyes Jr (Bureau of Customs), Antonio Meliton Pascual (Bureau of Customs), Assistant Secretary Ramon V. Kabigting (Department of Trade and Industry) and Australian Trade Commissioner Anthony Weymouth (L-R)

The New Zealand Embassy has once again joined with our Australian counterpart and Philippine government agencies to spread the word to the business community about the ASEAN-Australia-New Zealand Free Trade Agreement (AANZFTA).

Representatives of the two embassies, together with Philippine officials from the Department of Trade and Industry and the Bureau of Customs, spoke at a refresher seminar for local importers, customs brokers and freight forwarders at the Oakwood Premier Hotel in Ortigas on 21 March.

The AANZFTA has been progressively lowering tariffs on trade between New Zealand and the Philippines since it entered into force on 1 January 2010.  It is the first agreement that ASEAN negotiated as a "comprehensive single undertaking" which means that it also covers areas such as trade in services, investment, movement of people and measures to improve business flows.

Deputy Head of Mission Andy White said the agreement could bring great benefits for producers and consumers in both New Zealand and the Philippines.  "Today, something like 88% of Philippine exports to New Zealand are going in tariff-free, and those tariff reductions will continue until 2020 when all Philippine exports to New Zealand will be tariff-free," he said.

"Philippine consumers and New Zealand exporters will also gain from the tariff commitments; tariffs on most of New Zealand's dairy exports disappeared in 2010, tariffs on kiwifruit and apples went in 2011, and on most beef products from 1 January of this year.  New Zealand wine will enter the Philippines tariff free from 2015."

Andy White also talked about the bilateral agreements between New Zealand and the Philippines that were reached in the context of the FTA, but were not actually part of the AANZFTA.  These included cooperation agreements on labour and environment issues, and an agreement to negotiate a working holiday scheme that would be the Philippines' first.  New Zealand had also agreed to develop a programme of support for the Philippine dairy industry.

The presentations that were used at the event are all in the PDF document at the bottom of this page.  More information on the AANZFTA, including a tool that allows users to see what tariff rates apply to different products, is available on the New Zealand government's AANZFTA website 

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