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Chris Hipkins to meet UK prime minister Rishi Sunak


London – Prime minister Chris Hipkins will meet his UK counterpart Rishi Sunak at 10 Downing Street this week to advance the two countries’ free trade agreement (FTA).

The meeting takes place as part of the prime minister’s trip to London for the coronation of king Charles III.

Trade and securing improved trade access for New Zealand exporters is a foreign policy priority for me this year and it will be a big focus of my visit ahead of the Coronation itself, Hipkins says. 

“Virtually all our current trade will be duty-free from entry into force, including duty-free quotas for key products like meat, butter and cheese. Therefore, entering entry into the deal as soon as possible will be a focus of the trip.

“It’s estimated the FTA will see New Zealand goods exports to the UK increase by over 50 percent, boost New Zealand’s annual GDP by up to $1 billion and save about $37 million per year on tariff elimination from day one.

“My meeting with Rishi Sunak on Friday New Zealand time will focus on trade, our enhanced working holiday scheme, the war in Ukraine and the UK’s role in the Indo-Pacific.

“Another focus of the trip will be our ongoing commitment to Ukraine. I will be visiting the New Zealand defence force personnel training Ukrainian troops outside of London, hosted by the UK minister for armed forces James Heappey.

While there I will make announcements about additional support New Zealand will make to the defence of their country.

“I will also be convening a high-powered roundtable discussion on climate change with a particular focus on adaptation and the resilience of horticulture and agriculture in the wake of cyclone Gabrielle.

“Participants will include Lord Deben, the UK’s independent committee on climate change and former British high commissioner to New Zealand Laura Clarke who is now chief executive of ClientEarth, an environmental law organisation.

“Rounding out the trip I will be holding bilateral meetings with the prime ministers of Tonga and Canada, as well as representing New Zealand at a range of official coronation engagements.”