On the 20th of May, an event was held at the Northern Club in Auckland to commemorate the fifth anniversary of the Korea-New Zealand Free Trade Agreement (FTA).
Hosted by the Korea New Zealand Business Council (KNZBC), the event was attended by;
- His Excellency Mr Lee Sang Jin: Ambassador for the Republic of Korea
- His Excellency Mr Phil Turner; NZ Ambassador to Korea (via video link)
- Rt Hon. Sir John Key, former Prime Minister of New Zealand
- Sir Richard Taylor, Weta Workshop
- Simon Tucker, Director Global Stakeholder Affairs, Fonterra
- Michael Fox, Director of External Relations, Zespri
- Andy Sinclair, General Manager, Hyundai NZ
- Shinhak Kang, Trade Commissioner, KOTRA
- Matt Baker, Global Market Manager, Silver Fern Farms
and around 100 business leaders.
“A free trade agreement between Korea and New Zealand was signed in Seoul on the 23rd of March, 2015, and took effect on the 20th of December of the same year,” said Lee Sang-jin, Ambassador for New Zealand. “Five years later, Korea and New Zealand have been cooperating not only in the economic sector but also in various fields such as culture, human exchanges and security,” he said.
The ambassador also said, “New Zealand is an old ally who sent many soldiers during the Korean War. We hope that the two countries will develop together through more exchanges in the future.”
The former PM John Key said, “I visited Korea and met the former President Park Geun-hye at the Blue House. The Korea-NZ FTA has played a major role in strengthening bilateral relations. “Although Covid-19 has significantly reduced trade volume between the two countries, but we look forward to returning to our old self in the near future.”
“After the FTA went into effect, many opportunities have been created for New Zealand companies such as Fonterra and Zespri, who are attending this function. The removal of mutual tariffs has helped consumers in both countries.”
Kang Shin-hak, Trade Commissioner of KOTRA in New Zealand said, “Since the signing of the FTA in 2015, the two countries have seen a sharp increase in economic trade due to the phased elimination of tariffs, and have also achieved great growth in human trade. In particular, through the working holiday system, while many Korean young people stay in New Zealand, they have various experiences such as language training, work, and tours.”
Meanwhile, officials from New Zealand’s flagship companies Fonterra, Zespri and Weta workshop said they hope for more active exchanges in the future.
The Board of the KNZBC would like to thank the event sponsors: the North Asia CAPE for supporting the event.
Thank you also to Zespri for sponsoring our main prize draw of the event – the delicious kiwi fruit.
We’d also like to thank Villa Maria Estate, Damson Collections, and Zealong Tea for providing the gift pack for the fabulous speakers.