Agribusiness

Horticulture growth retains momentum

kiwifruit stock image

Horticulture growth retained momentum with a seven percent growth in export earnings since 2016, according to an updated report, with tariffs on exported produce down by 12 percent since 2012.

The New Zealand Horticulture Export Authority (HEA) and Horticulture New Zealand commission the report New Zealand Horticulture – Barriers to Our Export Trade every two years, with funding support from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, NZ Fruitgrowers Charitable Trust, and industry.

The report, released at an event in Wellington, says horticultural produce exporters paid an estimated $214 million in tariffs, a reduction of 12 percent on 2012’s figure of $241 million.

About 60 percent of New Zealand’s total horticultural production of fruit and vegetables is exported, valued at $3.62 billion.

The report, prepared by Wellington-based company Market Access Solutionz and HEA, is used extensively by industry and government agencies as a reference point for negotiators to improve market access and help exporters to develop new market opportunities.

“Export sectors are seeing the value benefits from the nine (Australia, AANZFTA, China, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, ANZTEC (Taiwan), and Korea) free-trade agreements now operating and will see substantial gains from the entry into force of the Comprehensive and Progressive Trans Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) agreement on 30 December 2018,” Horticulture Export Authority chief executive Simon Hegarty says.

“This report confirms the real value from our trade agreements, and our need to sustain efforts developing new agreements to maintain our international competitiveness. The elimination of an estimated $36m in tariffs on trade with Japan under CPTPP will provide new impetus to this objective.”

There remains a notable trend for many importing countries to apply non-tariff trade measures (NTMs), such as sanitary and phytosanitary issues, and other technical compliance requirements. However, the specific New Zealand Horticulture report addresses both tariff and non-tariff measures, and relies on current 2018 trade data to update earlier reports dating back to 2004.

Horticulture New Zealand chief executive Mike Chapman, says global protectionism and uncertainty about the Brexit deal are creating a new landscape for exporters.

“It is increasingly important for New Zealand to support the World Trade Organization’s rules-based trade system and that the Government continues to pave the way with trade agreements, such as the CPTPP,” Chapman says.

“Opening up new markets and removing tariffs are essential to the continued export growth that drives New Zealand’s economy.

“Access to Japan for New Zealand fruit is one of the big wins for horticulture from the CPTPP. For the first time New Zealand will gain preferential access to the world’s third largest economy, with immediate kiwifruit tariff reductions worth $26 million,” Chapman says.

The Executive Summary of the report is available on the Horticulture Export Authority website.

Source: Horticulture NZ

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