John Key, the Prime Minister of New Zealand, spoke at a meeting with 37 business leaders from New Zealand; Korean business representatives such as Shin Dong-bin, chairman of the Lotte Group; other dignitaries; and the press at the Lotte Hotel in Seoul under the theme “Building Business Connections.” Prime Minister Key had just come from signing the Korea-New Zealand Free Trade Agreement with Park Geun-hye that same morning.
During his address, John Key said that it was an important day for New Zealand and Korea to commemorate the signing of the FTA between the two countries. He highlighted that the volume of trade between Korea and New Zealand in the past year amounted to US$3.2 billion, and the newly-signed FTA would provide even more opportunities to grow. He mentioned that signing an agreement with the Lotte Group was a prime avenue to sell the significant products of New Zealand to the Korean market as well as the rest of Asia through Lotte supermarkets, hotels, and department stores. Prime Minister Key also said that he hoped that there would be more opportunities for the people of Korea and New Zealand to develop friendship through increased trade.
The speech was followed by the signing of an MOU between representatives of Deer Industry New Zealand (DINZ) and the Korea Ginseng Association (KGC). The agreement focused on developing, producing and launching products related to New Zealand deer velvet antlers, and further research and development in the future. New Zealand's Minister of Trade Tim Groser oversaw the ceremony. He said, “The KNZFTA makes it easier for Koreans and New Zealanders to do business with each other. It reduces barriers to trade and investment and provides greater certainty about the business environment. These commercial milestones are a great example of that.”
Later, another MOU signing ceremony took place between Peter Edmondson, international sales manager of Puma Darts Limited, and Na Seung-heum, team leader for the international business of Dartskorea. Mr. Edmondson mentioned that they entered the Korean market last year, and were looking into launching into greater Asia from here. According to the agreement, darts manufactured by Puma Darts will use accessories by Dartskorea.
Ryan Freer, Trade Commissioner for New Zealand Trade and Enterprise, said that with the signing of the FTA, he expected a robust growth of trade exchange between Korea and New Zealand. He was optimistic and mentioned that major Korean conglomerates are already including New Zealand in their plans and future projects.