The signing of the New Zealand-Korea Free Trade Agreement will create a boom for the Bay's horticultural sector, says Bay of Plenty MP Todd Muller.
In a written statement, he said kiwifruit businesses such as Zespri, Bay Growers and other Bay exporters would see 45 per cent of tariffs removed effectively five years after the agreement came into force and wine tariffs of 15 per cent would be removed immediately.
The agreement would progressively remove tariffs on 98 per cent of New Zealand's exports to Korea, saving an estimated $65 million in duties in the first year alone.
"It is fantastic to see the tariffs coming off Zespri kiwifruit. This will create a boom for local growers in the Bay," said Mr Muller.
"Improving local businesses' access to international markets through free trade agreements is a key component of the Government's Business Growth Agenda. Supporting our exporters is crucial to creating new jobs and boosting incomes for New Zealanders."
Mr Muller said the Bay's horticultural sector was going from strength-to-strength, providing the region with more jobs and higher incomes.
"This agreement secures the long-term future of Bay exporters to Korea," he said.
"I strongly support free-trade agreements, such as this one with Korea, for the benefit of getting Bay growers better access into Asian markets.
Mr Muller said the agreement would also make possible a new level of co-operation in areas like agriculture, the creative economy, the environment and education, and spur greater investment.
The FTA offers improved protections for New Zealand investors in the Korean market, and reinforce the attractiveness of New Zealand as a stable investment destination, he said
New Zealand Kiwifruit Growers Inc president Neil Trebilco said the FTA was not just good news for the whole kiwifruit industry, of which about 80 per cent of growers were based in the Bay of Plenty region, but also the country's primary industries as well.
"It is certainly good news for our growers," he said.
Mr Trebilco said for some time New Zealand had a free trade agreement with China resulting in huge benefits, including about $10 million across the whole kiwifruit industry.
New Zealand paid $20 millions in duties to Korea last year across the industry and if 45 per cent of that came back over the next five years that would create significant savings of about $3 million a year, he said.
Mr Trebilco said Chile also sells kiwifruit to Korea and under its FTA with Korea, didn't pay any duty this year so this FTA was "really important" .
Korea was our fourth biggest market after Europe, Japan and China, he said.
Removing the tariff was the equivalent to putting $8500 in the pockets of the average kiwifruit grower every year, Tauranga MP Simon Bridges earlier said.