18 Jan 2017

Free trade with EU possible within 3 years

11:40 am on 18 January 2017

A free trade agreement with the European Union could be completed within three years, Trade Minister Todd McClay says.

09082016. Photo Rebekah Parsons-King. Caucas run.Todd McClay.

Trade Minister Todd McClay Photo: RNZ / Rebekah Parsons-King

Prime Minister Bill English has been in Europe for the last week meeting with foreign leaders and free trade with Britain and the EU has been at the top of the agenda.

Mr McClay, who is in Dubai, told Summer Report negotiations with the EU could start this year.

"New Zealand is one of only six WTO-member countries that hasn't got an FTA, or is not currently negotiating a Free Trade Agreement, with the European Union.

"All of the other counties around the world who we compete against have an advantage over us.

"We'll be, at the very least, looking to level that playing field."

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