EU, New Zealand sign free trade agreement

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(VOVWORLD) - The EU and New Zealand signed a free trade agreement (FTA) on Sunday after four years of tough negotiations. 

European Commission (EC) President Ursula von der Leyen called it an historical moment, and New Zealand Prime Minister Chris Hipkins described the FTA as a high-quality, comprehensive agreement. 

The FTA will create new opportunities for businesses by eliminating all tariffs on EU exports to New Zealand, and opening the New Zealand services market in key sectors, including financial services, telecommunications, maritime transport, and delivery services.

The EC President said the agreement will lead to a 30% increase in bilateral trade within a decade, with EU annual exports potentially reaching 4.5 billion euros, while EU investment in New Zealand may increase as much as 80%.

The agreement has been submitted to the European Parliament for ratification, and will come into force once it is ratified by both the EU and New Zealand.