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Kiwi exporters call for progress on upgrading ASEAN, China FTAs

Xinhua, September 29, 2015 Adjust font size:

A New Zealand export lobby group on Tuesday called for the government to begin enhancing the country's free trade agreements with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and China.

A recent survey of exporters had shown the ASEAN market was the most mentioned as the next market to enter, followed by China, according to the Employers and Manufacturers Association.

"We have good free trade agreements with both China and ASEAN, but now is clearly the time to start enhancing those agreements with ways to remove barriers to New Zealand exporters," chief executive officer Kim Campbell said in a statement.

"The barriers posed by registration systems, approval systems and over regulation within some markets should be the focus of the next round of negotiations," said Campbell.

"There are international standards that could become the basis of acceptance of many goods, and mutual recognition of standards and regulatory controls is another way to allow New Zealand manufactured goods to enter China and ASEAN countries."

With the ASEAN agreement due for review this year, and the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) being negotiated, it was a timely reminder of the focus of exporters, said Campbell. Endi