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Britain and New Zealand to sign free trade deal

·2-min read

LONDON, Feb 28 (Reuters) - Britain and New Zealand will sign a free trade deal in London on Monday, finalising an agreement predicted to boost bilateral trade by 60% by eliminating tariffs, cutting red tape and enabling freer movement of professionals.

The deal, which was agreed in principle in October, will add 800 million pounds to the British economy over the long term, the British government said in a statement.

"Our trade with New Zealand will soar, benefiting businesses and consumers throughout the UK and helping level up the whole country," trade minister Anne-Marie Trevelyan said.

New Zealand Minister for Trade and Export Growth Damien O’Connor will sign the deal in person alongside Trevelyan.

Trade between the two countries was worth 2.3 billion pounds ($3.1 billion) in 2020. When the in-principle agreement was announced last year, New Zealand said it would provide a boost of almost NZ$1 billion ($673 million) to its GDP.

The deal is the latest step in Britain's post-Brexit pivot away from Europe and towards countries in the Indo-Pacific region, where it sees export opportunities for professional services and luxury British goods.

Britain said the deal would eliminate all tariffs on UK exports to New Zealand and make it easier for British professionals and their families to work there.

Coming on the heels of a deal with Australia, Britain said it was another step toward accession to the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership - an 11-country trade pact central to British ambitions in the region.

"Like all our new trade deals, it is part of a plan to build a network of trade alliances with the most dynamic parts of the world economy, so we set the UK on a path to future prosperity," Trevelyan said. ($1 = 0.7470 pounds = 1.4868 New Zealand dollars) (Reporting by William James; Editing by Hugh Lawson)

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