New Zealand’s dependency of trade and its long history of pursuing both multilateral and bilateral PTAs (preferential trade agreements) make the state one of the most powerful free trade proponents.
Among the largest agreements of the world, the RCEP (Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership) trade agreement, capturing China, India, ASEAN, Japan, South Korea, New Zealand and Australia, the state of India all of a sudden decided to opt out in the agreement’s final stage of negotiation. The remaining participants, including the state of New Zealand, can do more in order to convince India to remain a part of the agreement as the door back into it, is still open.
The 20 chapters of the agreement are very comprehensive in their scope and go far beyond the liberalization of the goods and services. Rules around movements of people, digital trade, small and medium enterprise operations, intellectual property and government procurement, are currently being assembled. These are the domains that rarely ever are covered in PTAs.
New Zealand currently has both bilateral and multilateral PTAs with the RCEP participants except with India, including the CPTPP (Comprehensive & Progressive Trans Pacific Partnership) and the AANZFTA regional deals.
Adding the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, on top of all these deals, consolidates the total gains from all these trade agreements by both strengthening the current existing rules and also by adding new ones to trade, which in context of trade war between China and the United States, is considered especially important.
It’s important for the state of New Zealand to consider the promotion of their partnership and their technological collaboration with the state of India in terms of agricultural trade, and contribute their part towards the increasing agricultural productivity of India.
India should in turn be receptive in opening the access to its goods market.