Eliminating all tariffs on beef within two years and sheep meat within four years is important news, Beef + Lamb NZ chairman Mike Petersen and Meat Industry Association chairman Bill Falconer said.
“This ECA will eliminate tariffs with Taiwan and it complements NZ’s existing free trade agreements with China and Hong Kong,” Petersen said.
NZ exports of red meat products to Taiwan incurred about NZ$18 million in tariffs for the 2012 calendar year.
The deal will eventually eliminate those tariff payments giving NZ’s red meat products a competitive edge in the market, he said.
“This ECA will eliminate tariffs with Taiwan and it complements NZ’s existing free trade agreements with China and Hong Kong.”
Beef + Lamb NZ Chairman
Falconer said Taiwan is a key market for the NZ sheep and beef sector with red meat consumption steadily increasing over the past decade.
NZ exported NZ$208m of sheep and beef products, including co-products, to Taiwan for the year ending December 2012.
“Taiwan is an important beef market, being our third most important by value (NZ$134m) and fourth by volume (19,647 tonnes) as at December 2012.
“Taiwan is NZ’s largest market for primary beef cuts with NZ beef being well received because of its grass-fed origin and superior nutritional benefits,” Falconer said.
“Demand for NZ sheep meat is also strong in Taiwan with NZ exporting NZ$52m (9510 tonnes) of sheep meat in 2012. NZ exports are predominantly frozen sheep meat and historically have included a high proportion of mutton for traditional dishes.”
The agreement comes into force in 2014.