Moves to bring all free trade deals in Asia Pacific into one ‘free trade area’ could help countries like New Zealand bounce back from Covid, according to trade expert Stephen Jacobi.
He says the UK's agricultural sector has been mollycoddled by the EU's Common Agriculture Policy.
However, Jacobi says the UK is slightly different now because of Brexit and they want to be seen as a global Britain. But he ads they need to walk the talk about agriculture and trade liberalisation. He says the fact that Britain has negotiated an FTA with Australia is an encouraging sign that they may break out of the protectionist mould.
As for Europe, Jacobi says it's a case of the same old same as, the only difference being they have moved away from direct support for production.
"But they haven't got a market-oriented system for agriculture and it's still a highly regulated system where the market signals are all obscured," he says.
Jacobi hopes that issues raised in a recent discussion paper will stimulate conversations in the business community and government to find new ways to improved access for NZ products to overseas markets.