Farm Ireland
Independent.ie

Monday 1 May 2017

'New Zealand and the UK could build relationships that benefit each other'

In the early twentieth century the UK was New Zealand’s largest trading partner and the main market for New Zealand’s dairy exports
In the early twentieth century the UK was New Zealand’s largest trading partner and the main market for New Zealand’s dairy exports
Margaret Donnelly

Margaret Donnelly

If New Zealand and the UK could establish an open trading and economic relationship post-Brexit, then both countries could build upon the relative strengths of each market, including their geographic proximity to markets in the Asia-Pacific region and the EU respectively, a senior Fonterra manager has said.

Open markets encourage investment, increase competitiveness, and allow for more consumer choice and product innovation in the dairy industry, according to one of Fonterra’s senior managers.

Trade Strategy and Stakeholder Affairs Manager, Dr Francis Reid, told the Semex Dairy Conference in Glasgow that if New Zealand and the UK could establish an open trading and economic relationship post-Brexit, then both countries could build upon the relative strengths of each market, including their geographic proximity to markets in the Asia-Pacific region and the EU respectively. A good Brexit, for the UK and for the world, would help to halt the rise of protectionism, Dr. Reid said.

New Zealand, he said, opted to deregulate its economy, open its industries up to competition, remove subsidies, and pursue a policy of free trade. "These policies have laid the foundations of New Zealand's current economic prosperity and growth."

He said that Fonterra and New Zealand were examples of the success of open market policy and has led to New Zealand’s economic prosperity that has emerged over a period of economic liberalisation.

He also said that in the early twentieth century the UK was New Zealand’s largest trading partner and the main market for New Zealand’s dairy exports.

"This changed when the UK joined the European Economic Community (EEC), also known as the Common Market, in 1973, which resulted in New Zealand losing its preferential access to the UK."

To cope with the ensuing severe economic shock, New Zealand adopted protectionist trade policies, including coupled subsidy payments for farmers and a highly controlled economy, to manage the risks that this change brought, a policy that was eventually reversed.

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