23 Nov 2015

Trade agreement opens doors for agricultural exporters

8:37 am on 23 November 2015

The Trans-Pacific Partnership has dominated media recently, but a Lincoln University expert says an equally significant trade-related development has gone largely unnoticed.

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Photo: RNZ / Todd Niall

Agribusiness and Commerce lecturer Eldrede Kahiya said the Global Procurement Agreement (GPA) - which New Zealand became part of in August - opened up a $2.65 trillion-dollar market for New Zealand exporters.

Dr Kahiya said the GPA came within the framework of the World Trade Organization, and was designed to make it easier to compete for foreign government contracts.

He said it offered many opportunities for agricultural exporters to provide goods and services in areas of food safety, food preparation and equipment to a range of organisations, from schools to military bases.

"When New Zealand firms put in a bid and say 'Hey, we can provide this type of ingredient to this large overseas catering company,' with this large contract, then they have a chance.

"Opportunities are going to be mainly in sub-contracting, it's not going to be a situation where NZ firms can call an overseas government department and all of a sudden be able to ship something directly to them, it's going to be all about understanding where you can sit in the value chain and then putting your hand up and competing to the best of your ability."