New Zealand Prime Minister John Key has stressed the importance of seizing opportunities offered by partnerships such as the Korea-New Zealand free trade agreement.
“History has shown us that New Zealand’s FTAs are successful,” he said during a speech at a breakfast forum hosted by the New Zealand Chamber of Commerce in Korea at a Seoul hotel.
New Zealand Prime Minister John Key speaks at a business forum in Seoul on Tuesday. (NZCCK)
Commenting on the benefits of the new deal, he particularly emphasized the need for integration with Asian markets such as that of South Korea, saying “It’s hard not to believe that Asia is going to be a powerhouse of economic growth.”
According to Key, a major challenge for New Zealand businesses is understanding new markets.
As an example, he noted that 20 years ago, New Zealand companies threw out meat products they considered to be unusable. “Nowadays, there’s a highly valued market for that. It’s just understanding our market. The big job for us is to use the connections we have.”
As part of that effort, he mentioned the diaspora of Koreans living in New Zealand, saying that they “could be that link, and help us understand.”
Ultimately, he said that although arrangements like these are “never easy,” the strong relationship between New Zealand and Korea would make the FTA a success. “Our job is to go out and (promote) the enormous opportunities,” he said.
The Prime Minister visited Seoul early this week to ink the FTA.
Korea is New Zealand’s sixth-largest export destination and eighth-largest import source for goods and services. Total bilateral trade has grown over 9 percent each year over the past five years, reaching roughly $4 billion in value last year.
By Won Ho-jung (firstname.lastname@example.org)