The New Zealand Parliament passed all the necessary legislation related to the Korea-New Zealand FTA on 24 September.

The agreement will enter into force once the Korean National Assembly has also finished considering the FTA.  The FTA was submitted to the National Assembly in June.

Trade Minister Tim Groser welcomed the milestone, saying the FTA will play an important role in strengthening the relationship between New Zealand and Korea.

“It delivers significant benefit across a range of areas including goods, services, and investment by breaking down trade barriers, facilitating the movement of goods and services, and establishing a framework for resolving any trade-related issues in the future,” said Minister Groser.

“Korea is one of our most important trading partners. The lack of a formal FTA with Korea has restricted trade growth and put New Zealand at a distinct disadvantage relative to Korea’s current FTA partners. The passage of this Bill will address that imbalance by levelling the playing field for New Zealand businesses in the Korean market.”

The announcement of Parliament’s approval of the FTA came when MFAT Deputy Secretary (Trade and Economic) David Walker was visiting Seoul for the 12th Korea-New Zealand Joint Economic Committee meeting.

Deputy Secretary Walker was able to convey the news directly to his counterpart MOFA Deputy Minister for Economic Affairs Lee Tae-ho (pictured) as well as MOTIE Deputy Minister Woo Tae-hee during their meetings.

The Joint Economic Committee discussions ranged over cooperation in regional and multilateral economic fora to the state of the bilateral trade and economic relationship, which both sides agreed is set to receive a welcome boost from the FTA.