Members of the NZ-Korea FTA Joint Commission, in Wellington.
Members of the inaugural NZ-Korea FTA Joint Commission gathered in Wellington.

The first official meeting of trade officials following entry into force of the Korea-New Zealand FTA has been held.

Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy (MOTIE) Director-General Yoo Myung-hee led an 18-person Korean delegation to Wellington for the FTA Joint Commission discussions on 21 March.

Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade Divisional Manager Martin Harvey headed the New Zealand side, which featured representatives from six government agencies.

The Joint Commission noted the positive progress by both sides on implementation of the FTA commitments.  It also set out the forward agenda for the nine thematic FTA committees that are scheduled to meet during 2016.

One of those committees, the Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry Cooperation Committee, met in Wellington the following day.

Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Rural Affairs Director Ha Jong-soo and Ministry for Primary Industries Director Chris Carson oversaw an update on the roll out of the various collaborative activities under this chapter of the FTA.

New collaborative activities include internships, workshops and training programmes for officials, and a Primary Sector Training Visa that allows up to 50 Koreans to come to New Zealand temporarily for study and work placements in the agricultural field.

In addition, Education New Zealand and the Korean Agency of Education, Promotion and Information Service for Food, Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (EPIS) are working together on some postgraduate scholarships and English language training programmes for Korean students from rural areas.

At these meetings, a memorandum of arrangement covering these activities was signed by Education NZ General Manager International Peter Bull and EPIS Executive Vice President Lee Deuk-suob.

The other committees cover: Trade in Goods, Customs and Rules of Origin, Outward Processing Zones, Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures, Technical Barriers to Trade, Trade in Services, Labour, and Environment.

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NZ-Korea Free Trade Agreement

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