UPDATE Negotiations on the UK's Future Trading Relationship with New Zealand

DIT updates that good progress was made building on the constructive relationship established in the first two rounds. Discussions were pragmatic and identified considerable areas of convergence.

Negotiators on both sides continued to recognise high levels of alignment and commonality in objectives; this has led to many chapters moving to consolidated text.

Both the UK and New Zealand also continue to engage stakeholders to ensure our respective proposals are informed by their views.

DIT reports that both sides exchanged their initial goods market access offers before the round. This exchange of goods market access offers is an early milestone, and the speed at which this stage has been reached demonstrates the momentum behind these negotiations.

There continues to be rapid progress on areas of shared ambition, one result of which was the provisional agreement of the Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises chapter. This chapter aims to ensure that SMEs will be provided with the information necessary to take informed business decisions and to take advantage of the opportunities created by this agreement. It will also address priority asks of the SME businesses, including increased transparency on rules and regulations, and international cooperation.

Below is a summary list of those areas discussed in the round, which continued to take place by video conference:

• Anti-Corruption

• Competition

• Consumer Protection

• Environment and Clean Growth

• Financial Services

• Good Regulatory Practice

• Indigenous Trade

• Intellectual Property

• Investment

• Legal and Institutional

• Procurement

• Rules of Origin

• Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures

• Services (including Professional Business Services, Transport and Delivery Services, and Movement of Natural Persons)

• Small and Medium-sized Enterprises

• State Owned Enterprises

• State to State Dispute Settlement

• Technical Barriers to Trade

• Trade and Development

• Trade in Goods

• Trade Remedies

The source confirms that any deal the UK Government agrees will be fair and balanced and in the best interests of the whole of the UK. The Government has confirmed that it is committed to upholding the high environmental, labour, food safety and animal welfare standards in the trade agreement with New Zealand, as well as protecting the National Health Service (NHS).

Read the full analysis here: Negotiations on the UK's Future Trading Relationship with New Zealand: Update - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

© Copyright Hammad Baig

Hammad is a member of 33 Bedford Row Chambers

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