Korean deal opens door for NZ wine

New Zealand Winegrowers has welcomed a new free trade deal with South Korea as offering a “significant boost” to this major export target market.

New Zealand Prime Minister  John Key and South Korean President Park Geun-hye announcing the agreement (Photo credit: Yonhap)

New Zealand Prime Minister John Key and South Korean President Park Geun-hye announcing the agreement (Photo credit: Yonhap)

Although South Korea accounted for just $2 million (£1m) of New Zealand’s $1.3 billion wine export business in the year ending June 2014, this latest agreement is expected to help New Zealand wineries to compete on a more equal footing with other producers around the world.

Hailing the result “a great outcome for the wine industry”, New Zealand Winegrowers’ CEO Philip Gregan commented: “Tariff free access into South Korea at the time the agreement comes into force represents a significant boost to our export ambitions in one of the key Asian markets.

With NZW predicting earlier this year that its global exports will hit $2bn by the end of this decade, Gregan pointed to the growth opportunity now opened up in this particular market, which already has similar free trade agreements in place with other major wine producing regions such as Chile, the US and the European Union.

“Until this deal our competitive position in South Korea has been really handicapped because a number of our competitors have enjoyed tariff free access into the market,” he explained.

“We saw the negotiations with South Korea as the opportunity to correct this imbalance. Duty free access under the agreement will level the playing field and will be a sign that the Korean market is open for business for New Zealand wine exporters.”

This deal between South Korea and New Zealand follows on the heels of another major agreement that saw the Australia secure an end to agricultural import tariffs into China, a move that has been welcomed by Australian wine producers.

Earlier this year a report indicated that Chilean wine exports to Japan had enjoyed year on year growth of 20% following a slash in tariffs that arose from a trading partnership between the two countries.


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