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Taiwan signs the Economic Cooperation Agreement with New Zealand


COA and the local industries are actively preparing for coping with and seeking new opportunities in response to this agreement

COA, Executive Yuan said that, Taiwan signed the Agreement between New Zealand and the Separate Customs Territory of Taiwan, Penghu, Kinmen, and Matsu on Economic Cooperation (ANZTEC) with New Zealand on July 10 th, which not only will brings the significance of economic development, but will also will fully promote the exchanges and cooperation in investment in agriculture, agricultural trade and field of animal and plant inspection and quarantine between Taiwan and New Zealand. On account of New Zealand is the important member of “Trans-Pacific Partnership” (TPP) and “Regional Com-prehensive Economic Partnership” (RCEP), so the agreement will help Taiwan to further participate in the relevant regional economic integration, and Taiwan’s agricultural department can also adjust the industrial structure to enhancing their products competitiveness, to boost the agricultural products in export markets in response to the challenges in joining the TPP in the future.

COA explained that, Taiwan’s imported of agricultural products from New Zealand in 2012 amounted to approximately US $ 607,130,000, compared to US $ 6,290,000 in exports and the trade deficit in agriculture reached to US $ 600,000,000. The imports of New Zealand agricultural products, among them, the livestock products plays a principal part (71.5%), and the main import livestock items are: mile powder, cheese, beef, mutton and liquid milk; in addition, New Zealand is the sole import source country of wet velvet; as for the other agricultural imports, kiwifruits, apples and cherries and other fruits are the leading items (the items of principal agricultural products imported from New Zealand to Taiwan are shown in Appendix 1). Referring to the exports of agricultural products from Taiwan to New Zealand are mostly processed foods, mainly including beverages, animal feed, instant noodles, rice crackers, prepared fruits and vegetables.

COA indicated that, the content related to agriculture of the ANZTEC comprises three portions of market liberalization, Product Specific Rules for agricultural products, norms of animal and plant inspection and quarantine, in which regarding the market liberalization, Taiwan has fought for excluding the rice from the tariff reduction list, and adopting tariff quotas to velvet and liquid milk; as for the other principal agricultural products, have also taken a yearly tariff reduction methods to reduce the possible impact upon Taiwan’s industry (the market liberalization list of Taiwan’s agricultural products is shown in Appendix 2). New Zealand is committed that all the other items tariffs for agricultural products will be cancelled after the agreement takes effect.

In addition to the market liberalization, for the sake of avoiding the products of a third country can directly benefit from the preferential tariff of ANZTEC through transportation, the two sides have established the Product Specific Rules for the products which are adequate to preferential tariff; take kiwifruits for example, must be planted and harvested in New Zealand, so that it gets the benefit from the preferential tariff while exporting to Taiwan. In addition, Taiwan and New Zealand both also agree to strengthen the cooperation of animal and plant inspection and quarantine, including building cooperation, notification, emergency measures and information exchange and the relevant mechanisms, as well as enhancing the implementation of the agreement and establishing joint management committee to reinforce the epidemic prevention and quarantine management between both countries along with the agricultural trade exchanges and industrial interests, advantaging Taiwan products in the work of inspection and quarantine, reaching to international standards and the establishment of norms of the relevant international organizations.

COA said that, in process of the negotiation along with the end thereof, it keeps close contact and communication with all the industries and farmers’ organizations concerned, and actively prepares the response measures which will be taken by the government in the future. After assessing ANZTEC, the impact thereof upon Taiwan will happen to the livestock industry, in which as New Zealand is the sole import source country of velvet, and the increase of imports of the country may affect the velvet industry in Taiwan; as for the liquid milk, the annual imports thereof in Taiwan is about 12,000 tones, in which the ration between Australia and New Zealand is about 3:1, in case New Zealand increases the amount of imports, it is expected to replace the amount of Australia’s export quantity. On this issues, COA will cooperate to deer (velvet) and dairy farmers (liquid milk) industries to strengthen with relevant industry groups, and jointly promote health management, certification mark, the development of new products and market segments, and other workarounds to increase domestic competitiveness of domestic animal products at the same time, increasing these products value.

COA also pointed out that, as New Zealand and Taiwan respectively belong to the northern and southern hemispheres and temperate subtropical zones, the types and production of agricultural products are not the same; consequently, there is a little influence upon the agricultural food industry. It is expected that the exports of New Zealand’s apples, cherries and kiwifruits may increase, but due to the current the related items all have been massive imported, the increase of the New Zealand’s imported fruits will merely be the alternative of the others; even though the domestic scale of the industry is very small, but in view of the substitute for fruit consumption, COA will also adapt the necessary measures such as doing more exports promotion works or help process the domestic fruits industry, etc.

COA stressed that, the government will work with industry groups in pushing each preparations, if the industry is still affected by the imports, COA will also use “agricultural products subject to import damage relief fund” to the affected industries and take relief measures to the farmers to ensure farmers income.

COA said that, after ANZTEC takes effect, import tariffs to New Zealand’s agricultural products will be reduced to zero immediately, COA will fully take advantage of the platform of animal and plant inspection and quarantine built in the agreement to assist our industries in grasping the new opportunity to strength Taiwan’s aquatic products, eggs, moth orchid , mango, litchi and other high quality agricultural products to export to New Zealand.