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New Study on Hong Kong Trade Deal
Action, Research and Education Network of Aotearoa (ARENA)
17 April 2001
This evening, Helen Clark announced the beginning of formal negotiations for a free trade agreement with Hong Kong. It has been in "exploratory talks" for some months, and is expected to move quickly now, using the Singapore agreement signed last year as a model.
ARENA (Action Research & Education Network of Aotearoa) has published a study by Bill Rosenberg entitled: "Globalisation by Stealth - The proposed New Zealand-Hong Kong Free Trade Agreement and investment"
An outline follows.
The paper and a summary are available on the web site http://canterbury.cyberplace.org.nz/community/CAFCA
Alternatively, the paper is available from ARENA in book form for $10: contact
With a preface by Jane Kelsey, the study looks at the investment relationships between Hong Kong and New Zealand. It uncovers multi-billion financial transfers to New Zealand for "tax minimisation purposes". The strange "intermediary" relationship Hong Kong plays with China is analysed; again avoidance of taxes and tariffs are primary drivers. It finds that - The New Zealand and Hong Kong governments have been engaged in "exploratory talks" with the aim of negotiating a free trade and investment agreement (FTIA).
Though the government has failed to release any details of what is proposed to the public, this paper finds that if such an agreement is based on the recently ratified Singapore-New Zealand Closer Economic Partnership (SNZCEP), an existing Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement (IPPA), and the WTO, it presents the following dangers to New Zealand, among others: