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Govt's digital trade deal good news for Kiwi business

A new trade deal will boost New Zealand tech companies, according to the chief executive of NZTech. 

Graeme Muller says the New Zealand, Singapore and Chile digital economy partnership deal signed this week will help New Zealand companies grow their digital trade.

"Digital trade is growing rapidly in New Zealand and worldwide. Technology is the fastest growing sector in New Zealand and digital trade is especially important for the New Zealand economy," he says.

"The New Zealand economy is largely made up of small and medium businesses and being able to trade digitally opens up the global market which was previously only accessible for larger firms," explains Muller.

Minister for Trade and Export Growth David Parker together with Chile’s Vice Minister of Trade Rodrigo Yañez and Singapore’s Minister of Trade and Industry Chan Chun Sing, announced the conclusion of talks on the agreement Wednesday.

“New Zealand has played a key role in this new initiative to support digital trade. It’s an important step in making sure trade rules better reflect this digital era,” says Parker.

“DEPA will help make it easier for our businesses and consumers to take advantage of digital trade opportunities, while protecting public and private interests," he says. 

“We think that this will be a pathfinder agreement that will apply initially to those countries but will expand over time."

The partnership deal looks to establish new international rules and best practice for supporting and promoting trade in the digital era. The deal will help New Zealand exporters and consumers take advantage of opportunities from digital trade.   

"As more small Kiwi businesses understand how to access global markets, this will accelerate their expansion and the growth of the economy," says Muller.

Muller says it is critical to have positive global digital trade policies and agreements in place.

"The work that the New Zealand government is leading in this space is excellent and the New Zealand tech ecosystem is fully supportive," he says.

According to a recent report by the OECD, a 10 percent increase in bilateral digital connectivity raises traditional trade in goods and services as well by two to three percent so stimulating digital trade is also important for traditional export sectors as well.

NZTech is a non-governmental organisation that is supported by more than 1000 organisations that work together to help create a prosperous New Zealand underpinned by technology.