AUCKLAND – New Zealand has signed an agreement to start trade negotiations with a four-country Latin American bloc.
The go-ahead comes after Trade Minister Todd McClay met the presidents of the four countries – Mexico, Chile, Colombia and Peru – at the Pacific Alliance Summit in Colombia.
New Zealand had been working closely with the four countries during the past two years, and the announcement of the formal launch of talks was important, Mr. McClay said on Saturday.
The four countries had indicated they wanted to get an agreement wrapped up within a year, with the first negotiation to take place in Peru in September.
“They want to open their markets up and do trade deals with other countries around the world,” McClay said.
The group was also interested in deals with some other like-minded countries, such as Australia, Canada and Singapore, but the time frames for those talks would probably be different.