France pledges support for NZ-EU trade agreement

In their first meeting French president Emmanuel Macron has pledged support alongside Jacinda Ardern for a European trade agreement with New Zealand.

RNZ: France supports NZ-EU trade negotiations

France has come out in support of allowing trade negotiations between New Zealand and the European Union to go ahead.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and French president Emmanuel Macron have issued a joint declaration, after an hour-long meeting.

Ms Ardern says she was struck by the close alignment of their views which proved they were “natural partners”.

Mr Macron says he hopes an EU-NZ free trade agreement could reflect a “new generation of trade deals”.

Their written declaration included a commitment to promoting a progressive trade agenda, and an agreement to enhancing bilateral trade.

The pair’s meeting comes roughly a month before the EU member states decide whether to greenlight negotiations for a trade deal with New Zealand.

This is a positive step, and a good start to Ardern’s European trip.

On to Germany next, where support for a trade deal has already been indicated.

Stuff: Jacinda Ardern meets German Chancellor Angela Merkel to talk trade, education and visas

That’s a misleading headline, they have not met yet.

Trade wars and the threats of protectionism, as well as climate change, will be priority discussion points between Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, when the pair sit down for formal talks tomorrow.

Trade is set to be a key theme, however Germany has been publicly supportive of a free trade deal between New Zealand and the European Union (EU) and making the case for it was less likely to dominate the talk in way it would with Macron.

New Zealand would have common ground in that area, said Ardern.

“When it comes to trade, for me it’s about raising the international environment.

Ardern said she would also be discussing ways to potentially increase movement between New Zealand and Germany.

“Particularly around our education exchanges, and also over our working holiday visas.”

According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Germany is New Zealand’s sixth largest trading partner, representing $5.2 billion in two-way goods and services trade.

Nearly 80,000 German tourists visit New Zealand each year, and the country was also New Zealand’s 6th largest education market and its largest in Europe. About 3500 students study each year here, and about 15,000 young Germans are granted visas under a working holiday scheme.

Following her meeting with Merkel, Ardern would be giving a major speech on trade at Berlin’s Friedrich Ebert Foundation, overnight, New Zealand time.

She will then head to London for talks with Theresa May, a private audience with the Queen and to attend the Commonwealth heads of Government meeting with about 50 other world leaders, including Canada’s Justin Trudeau and Australia’s Malcolm Turnbull.

This is a big tour of Europe for Ardern.

38 Comments

  1. Gezza

     /  April 17, 2018

    Off to a good start. I expect Simon will be congratulating her on this.

  2. Blazer

     /  April 17, 2018

    wonderful photo…travellers will be choking on their….organic..muesli.

    • Kitty Catkin

       /  April 17, 2018

      She is looking very frumpy in unflattering clothes these days, and seems not to know that some colours make her look pale and drawn, as they drain all her own colour. That outfit is very dowdy and she doesn’t look like a PM in it.

      • Glad you mentioned it. No excuse for that outfit. A shocker

        • Kitty Catkin

           /  April 17, 2018

          A real nana outfit. That colour does nothing for anyone and the cut is terrible. It might seem trivial, but looking the part is important when someone is the face of a country. It looks as if she’s trying to keep wearing an old outfit. by letting it out a bit.

            • Spots look cute.

              She is very self conscious of her thick ankles and insists on those ankle boots with everything. She should be wearing more patterned dresses and jackets.

            • Gezza

               /  April 17, 2018

              Girls eh?
              Nothing wrong with her outfit. Macron’s a bloke anyway. He wouldn’t notice anything unless she had a low-cut blouse.

            • Blazer

               /  April 17, 2018

              so you just hate polka dots when Jacinda wears..them.What green eyes some girls ..have.

            • Kitty Catkin

               /  April 17, 2018

              Nuff said. The shiny satin (satin ? ) looks tacky and the top and trousers are stretched and look too tight. The top ends in the least becoming place. It looks cheap and nasty and terribly unflattering. It fits very badly, it’s a disaster !

            • Gezza

               /  April 17, 2018

              This is the sort of thing only suburban housewives, female Hollywood celebrities, snooty upper class Englishwomen, gay fashion designers and very limp-wristed camp chaps indulge in, Kitty.

            • Gezza

               /  April 17, 2018

              (Also Hyacinth Bucket & Margot Leadbetter)

  3. A minor point re the “misleading headline” it’s a long-observed convention across media to write headlines and captions in present tense.

    • Gezza

       /  April 17, 2018

      Haven’t seen any yet saying Trump meets Kim?

      • Kitty Catkin

         /  April 17, 2018

        I think that when it hasn’t happened yet, it’s written ‘ X to meet Y’ rather than ‘X meets Y’ which does sound as if it’s happened.

  4. Gezza

     /  April 17, 2018

    Just a quick reminder of something from the NYT:

    Republicans used to warn the nation about Mr. Trump openly, back when they thought they could still protect their party from him. Here’s a short sampling: “malignant clown,” “national disgrace,” “complete idiot,” “a sociopath, without a conscience or feelings of guilt, shame or remorse,” “graceless and divisive,” “predatory and reprehensible,” flawed “beyond mere moral shortcomings,” “unsound, uninformed, unhinged and unfit,” “a character and temperament unfit for the leader of the free world,” “A bigot. A misogynist. A fraud. A bully.” Some still say these sorts of things, albeit anonymously. Just last week, one of the president’s defenders in Congress told a conservative columnist, “It’s like Forrest Gump won the presidency, but an evil, really [expletive] stupid Forrest Gump.”

    • Gezza

       /  April 17, 2018

      Sorry wrong thread. Should’ve been World Watch.
      I blame the government.

  5. Alan Wilkinson

     /  April 17, 2018

    “When it comes to trade, for me it’s about raising the international environment.”

    Does that mean something? Anything?

    • Gezza

       /  April 17, 2018

      No.

      • Kitty Catkin

         /  April 17, 2018

        Well, I think that I know what it means, but it is a clumsy way to say it that sounds meaningless at the first reading.

        • Gezza

           /  April 17, 2018

          I’m sure she means well.

          • Alan Wilkinson

             /  April 17, 2018

            I’m sure she thinks if she talks in meaningless sentences she can’t be accused of lying.

  6. PDB

     /  April 17, 2018

    What did Ardern say about never lying….is rewriting history to make yourself look better count?

    • PDB

       /  April 17, 2018

      • Alan Wilkinson

         /  April 17, 2018

        Of course it shouldn’t have been. How seriously to take climate alarmism and what should be done about are entirely political questions.

        • PDB

           /  April 17, 2018

          True – but Ardern is outright lying in saying the National govt set up ‘a committee to question climate change’.

          • Kitty Catkin

             /  April 17, 2018

            She probably hopes that nobody will remember what this really was.

            I can’t believe that it was as she makes it sound !

          • On the personal front and with her PM’s hat on, she’s giving the lie to her ‘open, honest, transparent’ mantra. As for “never told a lie” thats long gone..

          • Blazer

             /  April 17, 2018

            as if there is no…connection.

        • Kitty Catkin

           /  April 17, 2018

          Yes, Alan, Heaven forbid that people should discover that the ‘facts’ are either slanted or wrong, like the ones about the glaciers or ice melting – you know the ones I mean.

          • Kitty Catkin

             /  April 17, 2018

            Please say that she didn’t say this to everyone in Paris. What a thumping great lie ! I am hesitant to call people liars, but this is hard to explain away as anything but a downright lie.

  7. David

     /  April 17, 2018

    Not a snowballs chance in hell of getting an FTA with the EU, took the Canadians a decade and then it only happened because they threatened to walk away and make the EU look like total muppets.
    They cant sort out what to do with the UK and they are totally intergrated and the EU have a 70 billion quid surplus.
    Good to see her going well over there but she really needs to stop lying there have just been way too many from someone who says they never lie.

    • Blazer

       /  April 17, 2018

      do you tell lies..?

      • Missy

         /  April 17, 2018

        I am sure he tells lies no more or no less than you Blazer. What is the point of this question? It is totally unrelated to a NZ-EU Trade Agreement.

    • Missy

       /  April 17, 2018

      Indeed David.

      The deal was originally held up by the Czech Republic, Romania, and Bulgaria holding out for visa requirements to enter Canada to be lifted, this was resolved, when along came Wallonia.

      The Belgian Government requires all regions to agree before they can ratify any EU agreement, in this case Wallonia refused to agree days before it was due to be signed. The Canadians gave an ultimatum to the EU to either ratify and sign or they would walk away.

      The Belgian issue was solved when full powers were given to the Federal Government, thereby over riding the Walloon objection.

      The Canadian agreement shows how an area of less than 1% of the EU population can hold up any agreement that the EU might like to sign.

      Also, I don’t like the chances of NZ getting a good trade deal from the EU, watching how they are negotiating with the UK I wouldn’t actually trust them to be fair, and considering our main exports are those that the EU severely limited to protect inefficient EU producers it isn’t that promising. Though to be fair I wouldn’t be surprised to see the demise of the EU before NZ and EU get close to an agreement, it has taken NZ decades to get to the point of beginning negotiations with them, and coincidentally the EU only became favourable when NZ expressed interest in a FTA with UK post Brexit.