New Zealand farmers and growers are giving the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) the thumbs up, according to industry representatives.
Fifteen countries in the Asia-Pacific region signed the RCEP deal, making it the world's largest free trade agreement.
RCEP has been eight years in the making and came into fruition yesterday via a virtual summit hosted in Hanoi, Vietnam.
Federated Farmers said the prospect of reduced red tape from a single set of trade rules for the Asia Pacific was a major reason why Kiwi producers and exporters would welcome the deal.
"Anything that takes us further along the path of ironing out border costs and delays, and reducing protectionist tariffs for our exports has to be a good thing for farmers, and for New Zealand," Feds president Andrew Hoggard said.
Feds said there was a degree of scepticism over how quickly New Zealand's GDP would be boosted by the estimated $2 billion (accumulated over several years) from the RCEP agreement - "given we already have free trade agreements in one form or another with all of the 14 other signatory nations".
But it believed new opportunities should eventually flow.
RCEP would deliver additional tariff elimination on a number of New Zealand food products into Indonesia, including sheepmeat, beef, fish and fish products, liquid milk, grated or powdered cheese, honey, avocados, tomatoes and persimmons, said Feds.
"This is now the largest free trade agreement in the world, covering nations with nearly one third of the world's population. It includes clear mechanisms to us to address any non-tariff barriers put up against our exported goods by the other signatories," Hoggard said.
Meanwhile, the country's onion growers and exporters also welcomed the signing of RCEP, Onions New Zealand Chief Executive, James Kuperus said.
"This agreement will ensure that New Zealand's onion exports continue to grow. Without improved market access and reduced tariffs, it is extremely difficult for a small country like New Zealand to export to larger economies like Asia and Australia."
Of immediate benefit was the expectation that customs authorities will release perishable goods within six hours of arrival, Kuperus said.
"This will help ensure that our onions arrive in market in the best possible condition."
Onions NZ said its growers benefited immensely from Free Trade Agreements, such as the Australia, ASEAN (the Association of South East Asian Nations), and NZ FTA (AANZFTA).
Since these agreements came into force, New Zealand onion exports to the countries involved had increased by 572 per cent, according to Onions NZ.
Kuperus said the RCEP would help New Zealand's economic recovery from Covid-19 by strengthening trade links in the Asia-Pacific region and keeping the flow of goods and services moving.
"However, with the uncertainty that Covid has created, onion plantings for harvest in 2021 have reduced by 6 per cent but this will impact exports only, with domestic supply not affected."
Onions were an important rotation crop in many vegetable growers' plans, Kuperus said.
"Having onions in their rotations allow growers to rotate between other crops such as lettuces, potatoes and carrots, which helps to control pests and diseases."
In 2019, the New Zealand onion industry was worth $200 million to the grower, 85 per cent of which came from exports.