New Zealand and South Korea have completed free trade agreement (FTA) negotiations, New Zealand Prime Minister John Key announced on Saturday.
"The FTA will put New Zealand exporters back on a level playing field with competitors from ( South) Korea's other FTA partners, such as the United States, Chile and the European Union," Key said in a statement.
"(South) Korea is New Zealand's sixth largest export destination for goods and services and eighth largest import source of goods and services, with total two-way trade of 4 billion NZ dollars (3.16 billion U.S. dollars) in the year ending June 2014," said Key.
"At the moment our exporters to (South) Korea pay 229 million NZ dollars (181.07 million U.S. dollars) a year in duties. Under the FTA, New Zealand exporters will save an estimated 65 million ( 51.39 million U.S. dollars) in duties in the first year alone."
On entry into force, tariffs would be eliminated on 48 percent of current New Zealand exports and duties on New Zealand's current exports would largely be eliminated within 15 years of entry into force.
Trade Minister Tim Groser said the FTA would create more opportunities for New Zealand businesses and deliver cheaper products to consumers.
"There are positive outcomes for agricultural exports, as well as the forestry sector, the fisheries industry and exporters of all industrial goods. Government procurement, trade in services and investment are all subject to high quality commitments," Groser said in a statement.
The FTA would next go through a legal verification and translation process, before it could be signed.