Hawkes Bay winegrowers executive officer James Medina.
Hawke’s Bay Winegrowers says this morning’s historic signing of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) has the potential to boost the value of the region’s wine exports by millions of dollars.
Its parent body, New Zealand Winegrowers, “warmly welcomed” the signing of the free trade agreement by New Zealand and 11 other pacific countries in Atlanta in the United States on Tuesday morning.
In a statement, it said the TPP would “undoubtedly” help the New Zealand wine industry achieve its goal of increasing wine exports from their current value of $1.46 billion - NZ’s 6th largest export - to $2 billion by 2020.
The TPP countries already account for over 60% of New Zealand wine exports. Hawke’s Bay is the country’s second biggest wine region behind Marlborough and accounted for an estimated 10% of the country’s wine production in 2014.
Executive officer of the local body, Hawkes Bay Winegrowers Inc, James Medina, agreed the tariff reductions negotiated in the agreement would result in a “net positive” for the national industry and local growers would benefit from greater access to overseas markets.
But the devil was in the detail, he said.
“Virtually all those tariffs will drop to zero, depending on which market. We haven’t seen the detail yet but that’s the general understanding.
“We are looking forward to seeing the specific details around [the timeline for] dropping tariffs and duties as that will drive more interest in those markets and more sales.
“It’s going to be a net positive for the industry and for Hawke’s Bay wines.”
It was “hard to put a dollar value” on the potential boost to the region’s wine exports, but when asked if it would be in the many millions of dollars, he replied:
“Potentially, yes, over time.”
Hawke's Bay jobs, families, exports and confidence are all winners from the successful conclusion of the TPP, said MP for Tukituki Craig Foss..
"This agreement is hugely significant for the Bay. Our apple, beef and wine sectors have huge new opportunities. Tourism operators will see renewed awareness of our region from new markets. More jobs, higher incomes and a higher standard of living for our families in the Bay. It's that simple.
"It will give our exporters much better access to a market of more than 800 million customers in 12 countries, and will help Hawke's Bay firms to build and diversify their businesses overseas.
"We are an exporting region. We will now have an even greater choice of customers to sell to. I back our exporters as they are world's-best producers of quality value-added products and services.
"As we move forward with the TPP, all of Hawkes's Bay benefits. A very successful outcome for businesses, the farming sector, fruit producers, wine makers and all of us in need of Pharmac's interventions.
"Now the negotiations have concluded, we will see that TPP is, overall, very positive for our region and for our country. New Zealanders will now have the opportunity to review the deal and provide feedback through the Parliamentary Select Committee process, before it takes effect," Craig says.