Reports over the weekend that the Chinese city of Jinan found Coronavirus on beef and tripe and their packaging from Brazil, Bolivia and New Zealand, are being refuted by the Prime Minister. Reuters also reported two other provincial capitals detected it on pork from Argentina.

The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership will be a springboard for the country’s post-Covid recovery according to Trade Minister Damien O’Connor. The RCEP trade deal signed between New Zealand and 14 other Asia-Pacific countries this weekend is now the world’s largest free trade agreement, and is eight years in the making and set to increase GDP by at least $2 billion. It involves the ASEAN nations plus its six free trade agreement partners China, Japan, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand.

Beef + Lamb NZ and the Meat Industry Association has welcomed the RCEP deal. B+LNZ chief executive Sam McIvor says the agreement will help strengthen trade in the region and with one-third of the world’s economy involved will clearly be at the centre of global economic rebuilding coming out of COVID-19. Meat Industry Association chief executive Sirma Karapeeva says the RCEP countries are important export destinations for the New Zealand red meat industry and while disappointed India is not aboard the deal for now And Horticulture New Zealand Chief Executive, Mike Chapman says without clear trading arrangements, it is extremely difficult to export from the bottom of the world to larger economies like Asia and from a horticulture point of view its expected customs authorities will release perishable goods within six hours of arrival ensuring NZ produce arrives on consumers’ tables in the best possible condition.