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WELLINGTON - Significant trade benefits for New Zealand and China"s Hong Kong Special Administrative Region will flow from a formal arrangement recognizing the supply chain security programs of both economies, Customs Minister Meka Whaitiri said on Friday.
Acting Comptroller of New Zealand Customs Service Christine Stevenson and Commissioner of Hong Kong Customs and Excise Hermes Tang signed the Mutual Recognition Arrangement (MRA) in Brussels on Thursday during the World Customs Organization Council session.
"Hong Kong is an important market for New Zealand, being our 9th largest goods export market," Whaitiri said in a statement, adding goods exports were worth NZ$1.1 billion ($740 million) in 2017, while services exports to Hong Kong reached NZ$411 million ($278 million).
The signing of this MRA between New Zealand and Hong Kong Customs grows that relationship through streamlined customs procedures and tighter assurances around risk management, so legitimate trade can flow more smoothly, Whaitiri said.
"Under this arrangement, members of New Zealand Customs" Secure Export Scheme will benefit through faster clearance of their goods by Hong Kong Customs," she said.
The Secure Export Scheme ensures exporters who sign up to have a "low security risk," ensuring their businesses greater certainty at international borders and minimal delay.
"Being a smaller economy, enhanced trade facilitation is important for New Zealand, as we are highly-dependent on the smooth and efficient flow of international trade," the minister said.
New Zealand now have similar arrangements in place with six of its top ten trading partners, including the United States, Japan, South Korea, Australia and China.