NEW ZEALAND: more questions and answers from NZ's WTO Trade Policy Review

Here is another question from the European Union to New Zealand.

The question touches upon New Zealand's restrictions on foreign investment in the fisheries sector and the criteria used to allow for such investment.

(the references to paragraphs relate to the Report prepared by the WTO Secretariat (WTO document WT/TPR/S/216 of 6 May 2009). The answers can be found in the Record of Meeting which took place on 10 and 12 June 2009 (WTO document WT/TPR/M/216/Add.1).

Q49 In paragraph 24 it is mentioned that "Fishing quotas and ACE may only be held by nationals of New Zealand or by majority-owned domestic companies; permission may be granted, under certain circumstances, by the Minister of Fisheries and the Minister of Finance, for an overseas person to hold a fishing quota in New Zealand (Chapter II(5))." Footnote 76 of Chapter II (page 32) mentions increased export receipts for New Zealand exporters among the factors for determining whether overseas investment in fishing quota is in the national interest. However the Fisheries Act 1996 in 4: Quota management system, 57.(4).(b) (C) mentions "the development of new export markets or increased export" as a factor for determining whether foreign investment is in the national interest. Does this imply that New Zealand would allow purchase of fishing quota by an overseas investor in exchange for trade concessions (e.g. import duty reductions) by the country to which the foreign investor belongs?


No. Trade concessions by the government of the country of a potential foreign investor would not be relevant to a determination by Ministers to allow the purchase of fishing quota by an overseas investor.

Well, if NZ's government confirms that it does not practice "access-to-markets for access-to-the-ressource", I will believe it, even if the legal texts suggest something else.

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