Trade and Export Development Minister Damien O’Connor today welcomed Canada’s announcement that it is interested in joining the Digital Economy Collective Agreement (TEPA) with New Zealand, Singapore and Chile.
DEPA is the world’s first partnership to help New Zealand exporters and SMEs take advantage of the opportunities available from the digital business. For example, DEPA facilitates trade by promoting the use of digital tools, e-invoicing and streamlined customs procedures for payments and parcels. The digital SME dialog provides a platform for closer collaboration between businesses, industry organizations and more.
The COVID-19 experience shows just how important digital technologies are to our economy. Our priorities for DEPA are key elements that will help New Zealand “rebuild better”. Said Damien O’Connor.
“DEPA comes at a time of significant disruption to international trade and distribution chains due to COVID-19, but that experience shows the value of our digital economy and digital commerce.”
Earlier this year a virtual signing ceremony was held on 12 June 2020 for the contract. It will come into effect on January 7, 2021 for New Zealand and Singapore.
Since its signing, New Zealand has been using Deba to help us find digital solutions to the challenges facing our economies, namely to keep supply chains open and to support the interests of SMEs that make up the bulk of the New Zealand economy.
“DEPA promotes further development of the digital aspects of our trade relations and supports the diversification of exports, which will enhance our future recession. I am pleased that DEPA will be rolled out to Singapore and New Zealand at the beginning of the new year,” said Damien O’Connor.
“It’s designed to be a ‘life contract’ from the beginning, meaning it can change over time to incorporate new elements and bring new members into the partnership.”
“Canada is a natural starting point for the Deba Group, and I warmly welcome Canada’s interest in exploring Deba’s members.”
In line with our support for multilateralism, the DEPA is an “open plurality” agreement that other WTO members are open to joining if they meet its high standards.
Canada is New Zealand’s 10thTh Largest services export target and 14Th The largest overall trading partner, with a two-way trade valued at $ 2 billion. Service exports spurred strong trade growth and accounted for 40% of total exports to Canada in 2019, one of the highest rates for any export destination in New Zealand. Although COVID-19 has affected service trade with Canada, it has the potential to provide a better market for health information technology, agile technology and Acritech. There is also scope for greater collaboration in research, science and technology in these areas.
The current strong elements of our bilateral trade relationship include the shared members of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement on Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), under which 99% of existing New Zealand exports are duty free. As members of the Inclusive Business Action Group (ITAG), our countries continue to work together to promote progressive and inclusive approaches to trade, with a focus on empowering women and small and medium enterprises, especially economic groups. Implications of COVID-19 infection.
Find more information about the Digital Economy Partnership Here.