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New Zealand

EU trade relations with New Zealand. Facts, figures and latest developments.

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The European Union has strong historical and cultural ties with New Zealand, with whom the EU shares a similar approach to a broad range of international challenges, such as their opposition to protectionism.

In this light, the Council of the European Union adopted the decision authorising the opening of negotiations for a Free Trade Agreement between the EU and New Zealand in May 2018 (the Council published the mandate in June 2018). Following that, Commissioner Malmström and Minister Parker launched the negotiation in June 2018.

Prior to that, in 2017, the EU and New Zealand entered into a partnership agreement which contains a number of economic and trade cooperation rules. Furthermore, New Zealand is a member of WTO since 1995.

More information on the EU-New Zealand trade negotiations

Trade picture

  • Bilateral trade in goods between the two partners equaled €6.4 billion in 2020 whereas trade in services accounted for €3.8 billion in 2019.
  • The EU is New Zealand’s third largest trading partner, accounting for 11.5% of total trade (following China and Australia, which account for 23.1% and 12.8% of New Zealand’s trade respectively).
  • New Zealand was the EU's 49th largest trading partner for goods in 2020, accounting for 0.2% of the EU’s total trade.
  • New Zealand's exports to the EU are largely dominated by agricultural products (65.2%) while EU's exports to New Zealand are focused on manufactured goods (80.5%).
  • The stock of EU foreign direct investment in New Zealand amounted to €7.7 billion, and the stock of New Zealand's investment in the EU was €4.2 billion in 2019.

The EU and New Zealand

In May 2018, the Council of the EU authorised the Commission to open trade negotiations with New Zealand and adopted the relevant negotiating directives. Following an initial round of FTA talks held in Brussels in July 2018, the negotiations are currently ongoing.

In support of the FTA negotiations, a Sustainability Impact Assessment (SIA) has been launched. The SIA seeks to assess how trade and trade-related provisions in the proposed FTA could potentially impact economic, social and human rights, and environmental elements, in each trading partner and in other relevant countries. To learn more about the SIA, go to the dedicated EU-New Zealand SIA website.

In 2017, the EU and New Zealand entered into a partnership agreement which contains a number of economic and trade cooperation rules.The EU and New Zealand also have a bilateral agreement for mutual recognition of certain technical certificates. This reduces technical barriers, including assessment procedures. It covers:

  • medicine products and devices;
  • telecommunication equipment;
  • low voltage equipment;
  • machinery, and;
  • pressure equipment.

A veterinary agreement to simplify trade in live animals and animal products (while protecting public and animal health) entered into force in 2003 and was updated in 2015.

The Annual Trade Talks regularly brings representatives from both sides together to exchange views on the bilateral trade relations.

New Zealand is a member of APEC, and part of the Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) and the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP).

Trading with New Zealand

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