Brexit benefits for regional NZ outlined in tour

GLOBAL OUTLOOK: British High Commissioner Jonathan Sinclair was with Gisborne Mayor Meng Foon yesterday as part of a regional tour. Mr Sinclair said there would be exciting opportunities for regional New Zealand following Great Britain’s exit from the European Union. Picture by Liam Clayton

BRITAIN’S decision to leave the European Union could have long-term benefits for Gisborne’s tourism industry and potentially “exciting” opportunities for its primary and fruit sectors, the British High Commissioner has said.

Beef and Lamb New Zealand and the New Zealand Meat Industry Association yesterday stated they were concerned by reports that the EU and United Kingdom had reached a “deal” to split the EU’s World Trade Organisation’s tariff rate quotas following Brexit. That could erode the quality or quantity of New Zealand’s existing WTO market access rights with the European Union or the United Kingdom.

However, speaking to The Gisborne Herald during a visit to the region yesterday, British High Commissioner Jonathan Sinclair said media reports were circulating but there had been no announcement from the Government.

The Government had been “very clear” that no country would be worse off for Britain leaving the EU.

Mr Sinclair, who was in the district as part of a tour of regional New Zealand, said tourism, pharmatech and agritech industries could be some of the big winners in this region.

“I’ve always been aware that this region is rich in certain primary industries.

“You’ve got fruit, fishing and tourism. Certainly those are things that local industry want to see expand and I’m excited by the idea that Gisborne is trying to attract more services and high-tech jobs.

“That’s where the opportunities over a longer time frame are probably going to be greatest.

“Both economies are more and more service-oriented and looking to move up the value chain.”

Although Brexit would not happen until March 2019, Mr Sinclair said there were clear signals for New Zealand businesses and individuals.

“What was made very clear by the Prime Minister (Theresa May) in her speech in Florence two weeks ago was a restatement of the desire for there to be the most ambitious and collaborative partnership between the UK and the EU once we leave. She, for the first time, set out what we would like to see in the first three or four years.”

Transitional arrangements

Mrs May set out the Government’s desire for a transitional arrangement for two years after 2019, and then into a new partnership with the EU.

“What hasn’t changed, is the clear desire of the UK to not just remain but to become even more global,” Mr Sinclair said.

“A key message since the vote was that this is not a vote for ‘little England’; this is a vote for ‘Global Britain’.”

Mr Sinclair pointed out that the UK was the fifth biggest economy in the world, and added that when it came to the relationship with New Zealand, New Zealand exported more to the UK than it did to Germany, France and Italy combined.

“Thirty-five percent of New Zealand’s export to the EU go to the UK and that number (44 percent) is even bigger when it comes to service exports. So we’re a very important market for New Zealand and with us leaving the EU the Government is very clear it wants to be very global and ambitious in terms of new free trade agreements.”

UK trade secretary Liam Fox had already said he would prioritise trade agreements with New Zealand, Australia and USA.

Mr Sinclair said that would not be a return to “Imperial Preference” policies of the past.

“Nobody is looking to recreate something from the 1950s or 60s. The opportunities now are to create something new and ambitious. As we leave the EU, we are looking to do a Free Trade Agreement with New Zealand that we hope will benefit both countries, both economies, both peoples and all the regions therein.”

Not only would there be an increase in two-way trade and investment once an FTA was signed, but also, hopefully, before then.

“There’s a real excitement here and in the UK about the opportunities.”

Partnerships in the primary industry sector would also be important.

“There are opportunities for UK and NZ companies to partner to take advantage of the high growth in, particularly, the Asian markets.

“We have a very clear-sighted approach to these opportunities and I’m already aware of many business and farming associations going over to the UK to talk to their opposite numbers.

Mr Sinclair also pointed out that despite some media reports, the UK was very welcoming of Kiwis visiting and working in Britain and since the devaluation of the pound following the Brexit vote, it was a good time to go there.

BRITAIN’S decision to leave the European Union could have long-term benefits for Gisborne’s tourism industry and potentially “exciting” opportunities for its primary and fruit sectors, the British High Commissioner has said.

Beef and Lamb New Zealand and the New Zealand Meat Industry Association yesterday stated they were concerned by reports that the EU and United Kingdom had reached a “deal” to split the EU’s World Trade Organisation’s tariff rate quotas following Brexit. That could erode the quality or quantity of New Zealand’s existing WTO market access rights with the European Union or the United Kingdom.

However, speaking to The Gisborne Herald during a visit to the region yesterday, British High Commissioner Jonathan Sinclair said media reports were circulating but there had been no announcement from the Government.

The Government had been “very clear” that no country would be worse off for Britain leaving the EU.

Mr Sinclair, who was in the district as part of a tour of regional New Zealand, said tourism, pharmatech and agritech industries could be some of the big winners in this region.

“I’ve always been aware that this region is rich in certain primary industries.

“You’ve got fruit, fishing and tourism. Certainly those are things that local industry want to see expand and I’m excited by the idea that Gisborne is trying to attract more services and high-tech jobs.

“That’s where the opportunities over a longer time frame are probably going to be greatest.

“Both economies are more and more service-oriented and looking to move up the value chain.”

Although Brexit would not happen until March 2019, Mr Sinclair said there were clear signals for New Zealand businesses and individuals.

“What was made very clear by the Prime Minister (Theresa May) in her speech in Florence two weeks ago was a restatement of the desire for there to be the most ambitious and collaborative partnership between the UK and the EU once we leave. She, for the first time, set out what we would like to see in the first three or four years.”

Transitional arrangements

Mrs May set out the Government’s desire for a transitional arrangement for two years after 2019, and then into a new partnership with the EU.

“What hasn’t changed, is the clear desire of the UK to not just remain but to become even more global,” Mr Sinclair said.

“A key message since the vote was that this is not a vote for ‘little England’; this is a vote for ‘Global Britain’.”

Mr Sinclair pointed out that the UK was the fifth biggest economy in the world, and added that when it came to the relationship with New Zealand, New Zealand exported more to the UK than it did to Germany, France and Italy combined.

“Thirty-five percent of New Zealand’s export to the EU go to the UK and that number (44 percent) is even bigger when it comes to service exports. So we’re a very important market for New Zealand and with us leaving the EU the Government is very clear it wants to be very global and ambitious in terms of new free trade agreements.”

UK trade secretary Liam Fox had already said he would prioritise trade agreements with New Zealand, Australia and USA.

Mr Sinclair said that would not be a return to “Imperial Preference” policies of the past.

“Nobody is looking to recreate something from the 1950s or 60s. The opportunities now are to create something new and ambitious. As we leave the EU, we are looking to do a Free Trade Agreement with New Zealand that we hope will benefit both countries, both economies, both peoples and all the regions therein.”

Not only would there be an increase in two-way trade and investment once an FTA was signed, but also, hopefully, before then.

“There’s a real excitement here and in the UK about the opportunities.”

Partnerships in the primary industry sector would also be important.

“There are opportunities for UK and NZ companies to partner to take advantage of the high growth in, particularly, the Asian markets.

“We have a very clear-sighted approach to these opportunities and I’m already aware of many business and farming associations going over to the UK to talk to their opposite numbers.

Mr Sinclair also pointed out that despite some media reports, the UK was very welcoming of Kiwis visiting and working in Britain and since the devaluation of the pound following the Brexit vote, it was a good time to go there.

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