New Zealand wins $1.8b trade deal with EU at eleventh hour. Video / European Commision
Rotorua’s Māori businesses and growers are ready to trade in the European Union, business leaders told the EU’s ambassador on Friday.
EU ambassador Nina Obermaier’s meeting with Māori business leaders took place at the Te Arawa Fisheries office in Rotorua and was hailed as a “first step” in opening the EU’s $17 trillion market to the Māori economy.
Te Taumata chair and Te Arawa Fisheries director Chris Insley said the $80 billion Māori economy was growing and needed to participate in international markets.
“One in three Māori jobs is directly derived from international trade,” Insley told the Rotorua Daily Post.
“That money will come back and we’ll invest it in growing Māori people. That’s the real end game, the trade is the medium.”
Insley said businesses had been working hard over the past year on trade strategies to the EU, the United Kingdom and the United States.
“Our only strategy is China at the moment but there is risk in having all our interest pulled into one market.
“We are opening up markets across the world. We’ve got an agreement to do trade. Now, we’ve got to actually do trade.”
Insley said Friday’s meeting was focused on how to get local farmers, kiwifruit growers, honey growers, seafood and other businesses trading with the EU.
He said there were plans for Obermaier to return to Rotorua in the new year to meet with business owners.
“The other thing we’ve got on the go is a discussion around trade missions to take Māori businesses to Europe, the UK and Asia.”