Source: National Party – PM to visit Korea and Japan

Prime Minister John Key will visit Korea next week to mark the signing of the New Zealand-Korea Free Trade Agreement (FTA).

Prime Minister Key and President Park Geun-hye of Korea will witness the signing of the agreement on March 23 by Trade Ministers in Seoul.

“The signing of the FTA represents a historic milestone in New Zealand’s relationship with Korea,” says Mr Key.

“The FTA will help New Zealand businesses maintain their competitive position in the Korean market. Tariffs will be progressively eliminated on 98 percent of New Zealand’s current exports which will create an estimated duty saving of $65 million in the first year alone.”

Korea is New Zealand’s sixth largest export destination for goods and services and eighth largest import source of goods and services, with total two-way trade in goods of $4 billion in 2014.

A delegation of 37 businesspeople will accompany the Prime Minister and Trade Minister Tim Groser to Korea.

After Korea, Mr Key will travel to Japan for talks with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. Mr Groser will also head to Japan for TPP talks.

“New Zealand has strong links with Japan and I am looking forward to seeing Prime Minister Abe again and discussing a wide range of issues including TPP negotiations, New Zealand’s contribution to the international coalition against ISIL and initiatives our two countries are working on together in food, education, sport and defence.”

Mr Key will be away from March 22-26.


Selwyn Manning, BCS (Hons.) MCS (Hons.) is an investigative political journalist with 23 years media experience. He specializes in reportage and analysis of socioeconomics, politics, foreign affairs, and security/intelligence issues. Selwyn has extensive experience as a commentator and has provided live political analysis to a wide range of television and radio organizations broadcasting in New Zealand, Australia and globally including the BBC (Five Live, London) and BBC (World Service). He is currently a correspondent to Australia's FiveAA radio, and is a regular live-on-air panelist on Radio New Zealand's The Panel with broadcaster Jim Mora.