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Source: New Zealand Government

New Zealand, Chile, and Singapore today welcomed the Republic of Korea’s formal accession request to commence negotiations to join the Digital Economy Partnership Agreement (DEPA) at an event in Paris.

Trade and Export Growth Minister Damien O’Connor is in Europe to advance New Zealand’s negotiations for a free trade agreement with the European Union. He is also participating in meetings at the OECD in France and G20 in Italy.

Damien O’Connor joined Chile’s Vice Minister of Trade Rodrigo Yáñez, Singapore’s Minister of Trade and Industry Gan Kim Yong, and the Republic of Korea’s Minister for Trade Yeo Han-koo on the side-lines of this year’s OECD Ministerial Council Meeting to discuss the request.

“New Zealand warmly welcomes the Republic of Korea’s formal request to join the DEPA. Expanding the DEPA’s membership strengthens the ability of our businesses to take part in the global digital economy and deepens our cooperation on digital trade rules,” Damien O’Connor said.

“Digital trade is a key component of New Zealand’s economic recovery from the global impact of COVID-19. The rapid growth of the global digital economy presents significant opportunities for our small businesses to compete in new markets.

“COVID has seen many consumers migrate to the digital world to overcome the day-to-day disruptions the pandemic has caused to life.”

The Republic of Korea is the first partner outside the three founding members to formally request accession to this world-leading digital agreement. After New Zealand, Chile, and Singapore agreed to accept this request, accession negotiations will now begin between DEPA Parties and the Republic of Korea.  

The DEPA is an ‘open plurilateral agreement’ which welcomes new members that can meet its standards to join. Its trade facilitation measures such as paperless trading and faster customs procedures make exporting easier and more accessible for businesses. The DEPA also includes innovative commitments to cooperate on evolving issues such as emerging technologies and digital inclusion.  

New Zealand, Chile, and Singapore signed the DEPA in June 2020.

The Republic of Korea is a key partner for New Zealand with a strong trade and economic relationship. It is New Zealand’s fifth largest export destination.

Further information about the Digital Economy Partnership Agreement can be found here.

Damien O’Connor’s travel to Europe through the USA is the second ministerial trip abroad since the COVID-19 outbreak in 2020.

MIL OSI