The governments of the UK and of New Zealand have today announced a trade policy dialogue in a joint statement issued by Liam Fox MP, Secretary of State for International Trade, and Hon Todd McClay, Minister of Trade for New Zealand.

As part of the dialogue, officials from the UK and from New Zealand will meet every six months to discuss and begin preparations for a potential bilateral trade agreement between the two parties. The dialogue will complement the existing UK – New Zealand strategic dialogue on foreign policy.

McClay noted that “the UK is an important trading partner for New Zealand” and that New Zealand has signalled its “interest in a free trade agreement with [the UK] when they are in a position to negotiate one independently of the European Union“.

Fox stated that “in leaving the EU, [the UK has] the opportunity to drive even greater openness and put Britain at the forefront of global trade,” and that the new dialogue “reflects a strong political commitment from New Zealand and the UK to take a lead in pushing for greater global trade liberalisation and reform.

The full text of the joint announcement is available here.