New free trade agreement between New Zealand and EU mooted

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A potential free trade agreement between the EU and New Zealand has been discussed during a recent meeting between leaders from the two regions.

The prospect of a new free trade agreement (FTA) between New Zealand and the European Union has been mooted during a recent meeting in Berlin.

New Zealand's prime minister John Key and German chancellor Angela Merkel have met to discuss a range of political, economic, social and security issues, with the aim of further developing a relationship between the regions that has grown in the past 12 months.

They discussed their recent commitment to move towards negotiating a comprehensive FTA, an undertaking for which Ms Merkel has offered strong support, while seeking new opportunities for closer collaboration between the regions' research and agricultural sectors.

For example, a joint working group is to be established to look at scientific ways to address global challenges facing agriculture, with New Zealand to host the group's first meeting in 2016.

Other matters debated included appropriate international responses to terrorism, the ongoing political situation in Syria and refugee and migration issues.

Mr Key said: "Germany is the world's fourth biggest economy, so today's meeting was a good opportunity to discuss further trade and economic opportunities."