Strengthening New Zealand-Korea FTA Progress

NEW ZEALAND - The 2nd Korea New Zealand Business Roundtable takes place in Seoul this week and New Zealand sheep and beef farmers will be strongly represented.
calendar icon 5 July 2010
clock icon 3 minute read

Beef + Lamb New Zealand Chairman, Mike Petersen is attending Wednesday’s roundtable, along with senior business leaders from both Korea and New Zealand. Prime Minister John Key is giving the keynote address.

Organised by the New Zealand International Business Forum, the roundtable’s theme is “innovation, growth and opportunity”. It is hoped the discussions will strengthen business relationships between Korea and New Zealand, in support of the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) negotiations currently underway.

Mr Petersen will be using the opportunity to highlight to participants that grass-fed New Zealand beef and lamb are not a competitive threat to the Korean beef industry.

“The completion of an FTA could improve the competitive position of both countries, with the exchange of Korean technology and New Zealand farming expertise. With our relatively small scale and predominantly grass-fed production systems, New Zealand beef is not a threat to Korean farmers and never will be.”

Korea is New Zealand’s second largest beef market by volume and a key market for co-products. New Zealand’s exports to Korea were worth NZ$153m in 2009. Based on this figure, phasing out tariffs on beef and lamb products – through an FTA – would eliminate about NZ$59m annually. Korean processors and consumers and New Zealand farmers would share these savings.

Mr Petersen says Beef + Lamb New Zealand strongly supports the New Zealand Government’s FTA negotiations.

“This is a key part of Beef + Lamb New Zealand’s activity – supporting continuous improvements in market access and product positioning for our sheep and beef farmers.

“Not only is Korea an important export market for New Zealand beef and co-products, it is also a key export destination for beef and co-products from third-country processors, such as the United States and Australia. Korea and the US have already concluded FTA negotiations and the resulting KORUS agreement is awaiting ratification. And Korea is currently engaged in FTA discussions with Australia. A New Zealand-Korea FTA would ensure New Zealand exporters are not at a competitive disadvantage.”

In addition to attending the roundtable, Mr Petersen will meet with Korean counterpart organisations, Korean Government officials and major retailers of New Zealand meat products in Seoul. He will also meet with Hanwoo Association and the Korean Beef and Dairy Farmers’ Association – to further highlight the complementary nature of New Zealand’s grass-fed beef and domestic Korean grain-fed product.

“New Zealand grass-fed animals have less marbled meat compared to Korean grain-fed cattle. The leaner New Zealand beef provides health conscious consumers with an alternative product.”

Mr Petersen is also taking the opportunity to visit key retailers in Korea, working with Beef + Lamb New Zealand to promote beef.

Beef + Lamb New Zealand is a key sponsor of the roundtable, along with Anzco Foods, Asia New Zealand Foundation, Fonterra and Zespri.

TheCattleSite News Desk

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