Jacinda Ardern begins talks for 'hugely significant' proposed NZ-European Free Trade Agreement during meeting with French President in Paris

The New Zealand Prime Minister has touched down in Paris, and says she was warmly welcomed by French President Emmanuel Macron for their discussions on a proposed New Zealand-European Free Trade Agreement (FTA). 

Jacinda Ardern said in a press release a key objective of the trip was establishing a European Union FTA and would be seeking a mandate soon. 

She described the proposed deal as "highly significant". 

1 NEWS Europe Correspondent Joy Reid has the details. Source: Breakfast

"It represents $15 billion worth of trade so it's hugely significant to us. We anticipated that given the vote was coming soon, that we needed to build support for that mandate as broadly as possible."

"We know there have been roadblocks in the past, but the sense I have come away with today is that our focus on building an agreement that models environmental standards and social outcomes is something France is very much in support of so I was very heartened by the response of President Macron today," Ms Ardern said. 

The PM also discussed climate change with the French President, with Ms Ardern aiming to assemble a meeting of Towards Carbon Neutrality Coalition in late 2018. 

In a press conference after the meeting, Ms Ardern said the pair discussed issues in the Pacific region, especially around climate change. 

The pair were said to have agreeed on the promotion of climate friendly agricultural technologies, and Ms Ardern invited Mr Macron to New Zealand.

Ms Ardern will be continuing her European trip to Germany today, where she will meet German Chancellor Angela Merkel. 

The PM is attempting to create a European FTA, and also discussed climate change and the Pacific with President Macron. Source: 1 NEWS

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