NZ WINES LOOK SET TO GET CHEAPER IN SINGAPORE WITH UPGRADED TRADE PACT
By Susan Lewis
Credit: Siulan Law Mathews
The upgraded free trade agreement between New Zealand and Singapore took effect on 1st January, Singaporeans can look forward to possible drop in prices of New Zealand wines in the course of 2020.
The upgraded pact will modernise rules for trading goods, making customs procedures easier, in a move that will cut time and transaction costs.
It will update ways of addressing non-tariff barriers for goods such as wines, spirits, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals and medical devices. It will also hasten clearance of exports such as fruits and canned foods.
The upgraded agreement adds e-commerce and regulatory cooperation chapters to the original New Zealand-Singapore free trade agreement, which took effect on 1st January 2001 and was the city state's first bilateral free trade agreement.
New Zealand's Minister for Trade and Export Growth David Parker said the agreement would open more opportunities for companies in his country looking to do business with Singapore, its largest trading partner in Southeast Asia.
"New Zealand visitors to Singapore will be able to visit the city-state visa-free for three months - up from one month under the existing agreement,” Parker said.
"Our companies with offices in Singapore will now be able to send employees to work there for up to eight years," he added.
Singapore is one of Asia's top importers of food and beverages from New Zealand, including wines, fruits and dairy products.
New Zealand exports more than USD1 billion worth of wine a year, making wine production one of the country's largest industries.
Negotiations for the upgraded agreement were started in June 2017. It was signed in May 2019 during New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern's first official visit to Singapore.
(the writer can be contacted at: firstname.lastname@example.org)
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