WELLINGTON, Aug 27 – The signing of a new protocol will make the free trade pact with Australia and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) more business-friendly, transparent and flexible, New Zealand Trade Minister Tim Groser said Wednesday.
Groser and other economic ministers of the Asean-Australia-New Zealand Free Trade Area (AANZFTA) signed the protocol to amend the AANZFTA at a meeting in Nay Pyi Taw, Myanmar on Wednesday, China’s Xinhua news agency reported.
“The protocol does not change any of the preferences under AANZFTA. Instead, it’s about tidying up some inefficiencies and unnecessary fish hooks that we know create challenges for exporters,” Groser said in a statement from his office.
“These changes relate to product-specific rules of origin, certificate of origin requirements and the process for transposition of tariff reduction and origin schedules when the classification documents on which they are based are revised.”
It was expected that the protocol would enter into force in early 2015, once negotiations concerning implementation requirements were completed.
The AANZFTA was signed in 2009 and entered into force for New Zealand in 2010.