- Title: Germany's Merkel says Germany will press for quick trade deal with New Zealand
- Date: 16th January 2017
- Summary: BERLIN, GERMANY (JANUARY 16, 2017) (REUTERS) ****WARNING CONTAINS FLASH PHOTOGRAPHY*** EXTERIOR OF GERMAN CHANCELLORY GERMAN CHANCELLOR ANGELA MERKEL AND NEW ZEALAND PRIME MINISTER BILL ENGLISH ARRIVING FOR NEWS CONFERENCE PHOTOGRAPHERS MERKEL AND ENGLISH AT PODIUM AT START OF NEWS CONFERENCE JOURNALISTS TAKING NOTES (SOUNDBITE) (German) GERMAN CHANCELLOR, ANGELA MERKEL, SAYING: "We spoke about bilateral relations and that includes the relationship with the EU. In particular I, and the government, have repeatedly pushed for negotiating a free trade agreement with New Zealand. We think that we can start the negotiations quickly and that the negotiations can be carried out very quickly and efficiently. This is the assumption in Brussels but Germany will apply pressure in the right direction." WIDE OF NEWS CONFERENCE (SOUNDBITE) (English) NEW ZEALAND PRIME MINISTER, BILL ENGLISH, SAYING: "The EU is a key partner for New Zealand. We have in place a partnership agreement which emphasises our shared interests. The next step is an EU-New Zealand free trade agreement to further enhance our economic links and we appreciate and affirm today the support of Germany for that free trade agreement. The negotiation of a high quality trade agreement with the EU is a top priority for our government and our objective is to announce the launch of those negotiations as soon as possible this year." NEWS CONFERENCE IN PROGRESS CLOSE OF MERKEL PAN TO MERKEL'S HANDS CLOSE OF ENGLISH LISTENING (SOUNDBITE) (German) GERMAN CHANCELLOR, ANGELA MERKEL, SAYING: "As far as Brexit is concerned nothing has changed in my position that we will first wait for Great Britain to make the official application to leave. There are rumours that tomorrow the prime minister could outline the basic plan and we will of course listen carefully but in the end what counts is what plan they actually hand in to the EU. And we will deal with whatever decision Great Britain makes for itself. We will react to whatever wishes they express and I don't want to say what would be easier or more difficult. Rather we will wait and see what happens, and assess it and then react on that basis. And then we will make our own guidelines for our own negotiations." NEWS CONFERENCE IN PROGRESS (SOUNDBITE) (English) NEW ZEALAND PRIME MINISTER, BILL ENGLISH, SAYING: "With respect to your question on free trade agreements. Our priority is the free trade agreement with the European Union. That process is underway, there is strong commitment to it, there is a clear path and commitment to getting through it as quickly as possible. We would negotiate an agreement with Britain when it is not in the EU and it is ready to negotiate. We wouldn't see a role to get in ahead of that process. With respect to the TPP we will see in the next few weeks what action the American administration takes." WIDE OF NEWS CONFERENCE / PAN TO MEDIA MERKEL AND ENGLISH FINISHING NEWS CONFERENCE AND SHAKING HANDS
- Embargoed: 30th January 2017 13:40
- Keywords: Merkel trade deal Bill English New Zealand EU
- Location: BERLIN, GERMANY
- City: BERLIN, GERMANY
- Country: Germany
- Topics: Economic Events
- Reuters ID: LVA0015ZBWEH3
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: New Zealand aims to begin talks on a free trade deal with the European Union as soon as possible, Prime Minister Bill English said on Monday (January 16) after meeting German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who endorsed the idea.
Merkel told reporters at a joint news conference with English in Berlin that she would press the 28-nation EU to work toward a quick trade accord with New Zealand.
She said there were no plans to link such an accord with New Zealand's willingness to take in more refugees, but welcomed the country's plans to provide more agriculture-based development aid to African countries.
Merkel also said Germany would pay close attention to a speech British Prime Minister Theresa May is to make on Tuesday about her government's plan to leave the EU, but that the negotiations would hinge on the content of the Article 50 application that it files to exit the 28-nation bloc.
"What will really count is what (application) is turned in to Europe," Merkel said. "We will deal with the decision that Britain makes for itself ... We'll wait and see, and we'll take a look at it and will react to that."
Britain's pound fell sharply on Monday after reports in some British newspapers that May's speech on Tuesday would harden Britain's stance towards an economic bloc that accounts for roughly half its exports and imports.
English also said New Zealand would look to agree a "high-quality" free trade pact with Britain as soon as possible after it exits the EU.
"We would negotiate an agreement with Britain when it's not in the EU and it's ready to negotiate," English said. "We wouldn't see a role to get ahead of that process."
Britain is not able to sign its own trade deals with third countries while it remains an EU member, but the May government has said it is keen to start preparatory talks so agreements can be reached quickly after it leaves.
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