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- On 8 April, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced(external link) that New Zealand would temporarily suspend arrivals from India, with effect from 4:00pm Sunday 11 April 2021 NZT, and will remain in place until Wednesday 28 April 2021. This suspension applies to New Zealand citizens, residents, temporary entry visa holders, and transit visa holders who have been in India within the past 14 days. This is a temporary suspension until we are able to better manage the current situation. Agencies are investigating options to manage this risk moving forward.
Global & Multilateral Updates
- Public consultations were launched on Thursday 1 April requesting feedback from New Zealanders on additional economies joining the Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP). This follows the United Kingdom’s formal request to join. In view of potential interest from other economies in joining, submissions are sought regarding accession in general. Any economy wanting to join the CPTPP will need to show how it will comply with the existing obligations contained in the agreement and how it will meet the high standards of market access agreed by CPTPP members. Accession negotiations can be expected to focus on ensuring that the commitments new members make on market access for goods, services, investment, government procurement and temporary entry for business persons meet the high standards already agreed by existing CPTPP members. Submissions can be made here(external link) and close on 2 May.
- Singapore has become the first participating country to ratify the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) and deposit its ratification instrument with the ASEAN Secretary-General. The announcement follows figures from Singapore’s Ministry of Trade and Industry confirming Singapore’s economy grew by 0.2% on a year-on-year basis in the first quarter of 2021; the economy’s first quarterly growth since the first quarter of 2019 and a turnaround from the 2.4% contraction recorded in the previous quarter.
- On 7 April, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte announced the reduction of import tariffs on pork in order to encourage pork imports. The Philippines is currently facing a domestic pork shortage due to the impacts of COVID on the domestic labour force, however ongoing international freight pricing is likely to continue to be a factor in the viability of exports to the Philippine market.
- Minister of State for Trade and Export Growth, Phil Twyford was a keynote international speaker at the Sri Ram College of Commerce 2021 Business Conclave on 3-4 April, one of the most highly regarded commerce and education forums in India. Other speakers included the Indian Ministers of Environment, Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises, and Finance as well as prominent Indian companies. Minister Twyford provided a pre-recorded speech for the virtual event, which was expected to reach an audience of over 25,000 people (mainly in India). Minister Twyford spoke about about New Zealand’s COVID response, and aspirations for the New Zealand-India relationship.
- This week, as a result of the easing of the lockdown restrictions in line with the UK Government’s Roadmap, shops, hairdressers, and restaurants/pubs with outdoor dining facilities have reopened for the first time since the latest lockdown commenced in 2020. The next few months will provide a sense of the UK’s next steps in major areas like international travel, vaccine certification and long term social distancing measures.
- Earlier this week the British Chambers of Commerce released their Trade Confidence Outlook for the first quarter of the year. The report can be read here.(external link)(external link)
- On 10 April, French lawmakers voted to ban domestic flights on routes that can be covered by train in under two-and-a-half hours. The measure is part of a broader ‘climate and resilience’ bill that aims to cut French carbon emissions by 40% in 2030 from 1990 levels. The planned measures will face a further vote in the Senate before becoming law.
- On 12 April, US President Joe Biden attended a virtual White House CEO summit on semiconductor and supply chain resilience(external link) with CEOs from industries (e.g. tech and auto) affected by the semiconductor shortage.
- On 7 April, the US Treasury released(external link) its “Made in America Tax Plan Report,” a tax proposal that would help fund the initiatives within the Biden Administration’s American Jobs Plan(external link). The tax plan’s goal is to make American companies and workers more competitive by eliminating incentives to offshore investment, substantially reducing profit shifting, countering tax competition on corporate rates, and providing tax preferences for clean energy production.
Middle East and Africa
- On 7 April, New Zealand Trade and Enterprise (NZTE) hosted a virtual ‘Taste New Zealand Conference and Exhibition’ in Saudi Arabia to connect New Zealand exporters with leading Saudi distributors and key government agencies, as well as promote New Zealand’s food and beverage industry. 19 guest speakers from a range of Saudi ministries, distributors, and retailers presented to the conference, while New Zealand companies were able to showcase their products and meet with potential clients in ‘virtual booths.'
- On 13 April NZTE and MFAT participated in a webinar ‘Entering Ethiopia: Demystifying investment opportunities in Ethiopia’ co-hosted by the Ethiopian Embassy to New Zealand (in Canberra) and the Africa-New Zealand Business Council. The event garnered good attendance from a diverse pool of stakeholders and highlighted a range of business and investment opportunities in Ethiopia, including in the agriculture and renewable energy sectors.
- The previous global economic and trade update can be found here.
The following links may provide useful information to businesses:
- NZTE(external link) has a website focused on providing COVID-19 information for exporters. They’ve also launched myNZTE(external link), an interactive digital portal of insights and tools available to all New Zealand exporters.
- The Treasury releases a weekly economic update(external link) every Friday. Stats NZ has published a data portal(external link) with near real-time economic indicators.
- MBIE publishes a sector reports series(external link) which provides regularly updated reports on all industry sectors that make up the New Zealand economy. These include official economic data and the challenges and opportunities that face New Zealand’s industry sectors.
- Business.govt.nz(external link) provides tools and advice from across government to save small businesses’ time and help make the business a success.
- MFAT has created a tariff finder(external link) which is designed to help goods exporters and importers maximise benefits from New Zealand’s Free Trade Agreements and compare tariffs in 136 other markets.
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This information released in this report aligns with the provisions of the Official Information Act 1982. The opinions and analysis expressed in this report are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the views or official policy position of the New Zealand Government. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade and the New Zealand Government take no responsibility for the accuracy of this report.