ExportNZ Trade & Policy Update May 2023

New Zealand-United Kingdom Free Trade Agreement

Well done Prime Minister Hipkins and the negotiating team.  While delayed, a little, the end of May entry into force of the NZ-UK FTA is an excellent outcome.  The challenge now is for our exporters and importers to take full advantage of the new opportunities that have been created. The MFAT website is an excellent place to start.

New Zealand-European Union Free Trade Agreement

With the UK FTA now about to enter into force, all eyes are on the FTA with the EU.  Negotiations have been concluded and ratification processes well underway.  The PM will be travelling to Europe for the NATO summit in Vilnius in July.  Might there be a side trip to Brussels and another big announcement then? 

Comprehensive & Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership

Work is continuing on finalising the accession of the UK to the CPTPP Agreement.  New Zealand is hosting CPTPP Ministers in mid-July and the goal is to have the UK sign the accession agreement then.  This would be another good and very welcome achievement by the Government.  There are still a few domestic processes for some members to work through before this can happen so keep the champagne on ice for the moment.  But signs are hopeful.

This meeting will also hopefully hold useful discussions on how to handle the applications for membership from China, Taiwan, Costa Rica, Ecuador and Uruguay have applied.  Ukraine has also announced that it intends to join CPTPP.  This is potentially a very interesting development.

More good news on the CPTPP front came with Brunei notifying that it had ratified the agreement.  This means that all the 11 original members have ratified the agreement.”

United Arab Emirates or Gulf Cooperation Council

The signature of a FTA between Israel and the UAE has raised questions about New Zealand strategy to unblock the long-stalled FTA with the Gulf Cooperation Council, of which the UAE is an important member.  Officials and Ministers are reportedly contemplating an approach to the UAE to see what might be achieved by moving bilaterally as opposed to the wider GCC process.  Achieving a FTA with this important country, and the recent host of the Expo would be very welcome by many exporters.

Prime Ministerial China Visit?

There is continuing talk of a possible Prime Ministerial visit to China.  Time is running out with the election pending and with travel to Papua New Guinea and Europe already confirmed but a high-level visit to China (maybe with some New Zealand companies in tow) would also be very welcome.

Supply Chains and Logistics


Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade has said that they will no longer be providing their Monitoring Global Supply Chains Reports, citing the stabilisation of international supply chains following the removal of COVID-related border restrictions and a rebalancing of global freight supply and demand.

Ports of Auckland have reported a return to the way they processed ships before COVID-19 and regularity return. New Zealand’s major ports have also managed to return to regular berthing windows.

According to TMX Global, a supply chain consulting firm, New Zealand companies lose $1.69 billion a year due to shipping delays and unreliability. Delays caused by strict Covid-19 restrictions and lockdowns, the war in Ukraine, and climate change, had significantly impacted the private sector over the past few years.


Global supply chain pressures continue to ease according to the Global Supply Chain Pressure Index. The Index has seen another decrease and currently sits at -1.32 this is from a high of 4.31 in December 2021 to 0.96 at the start of 2023.

Sea Intelligence reflects the improvements in their data, figures show and continuing improvement in global schedule reliability – up to 62.6 per cent, a 2.4 per cent month on month increase). Year on year this figure is a 26.8 per cent increase from March 2022.

The average global delay for late vessels decreased again slightly to 5.03 days. Marginally higher than March 2020 figures and 2.41 days lower than March 2022.

Credit: Sea Intelligence, 08 May 2023

ExportNZ Feedback on MFAT’s Digital Trade Review [OPEN]

ExportNZ provided feedback to MartinJenkins regarding the Ministry of Foreign Affairs & Trade’s Digital Trade Review. The review covers New Zealand’s international engagement and policy settings affecting digital trade and supporting the digital economy. The Review is being  undertaken as a recommendation from the Trade For All Advisory Board.

ExportNZ discussed a number of areas with the Review team, including;

  • New Zealand’s advocacy for the Moratorium on Customs Duties on e-Transmissions,
  • The benefits of digital/paperless trade,
  • Equipping exporters with the skills to engage in digital trade.

If you would like to get involved in the Digital Trade Review, please click here for more information. There are still Online & In-Person hui available to attend.

MartinJenkins also welcomes comments, questions and input to this review through: [email protected].

Comments for MFAT can be emailed to: [email protected].

ExportNZ Feedback on MFAT’s Consultations on International Climate Negotiations [CLOSED]

Export, alongside colleagues from BusinessNZ and the BusinessNZ Energy Council, provided feedback to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs & Trade on their public consultation on New Zealand’s approach to international climate change negotiations.

MFAT engaged in the consultation to update its negotiating mandate for New Zealand’s participation in international climate change forums.

ExportNZ discussed a number of issues with the consulting team, including;

  • The wider impacts of pricing agricultural emissions in New Zealand, specifically around the impact to regional economies and employment opportunities.
  • The reality of negotiating goals overseas and New Zealand’s ability to operationalise and afford the cost of change domestically.
  • The effect of locking in New Zealand to commitments and the limits that can put on an economy and population like New Zealand’s.

Public consultations for the Mandate have now closed.  

ExportNZ Letter to Trade Spokespeople

In the lead-up to the election, ExportNZ sent a short letter detailing several key policies areas that are top of mind for New Zealand exporters. The letter is the first part of ExportNZ’s policy engagement before the election, we will be releasing a more detailed pre-election policy document closer to the election as we continue to engage with exporters around the country face to face and through our ExportNZ DHL Export Barometer Survey 2023.

The Letter covered the following issues:

  • Support exporters through NZTE overseas,
  • Resolving non-tariff barriers,
  • Supply chain resilience and reliability,
  • Building on our current free trade agreement success,
  • Continue to develop free trade agreement relationships with new partners,
  • Continue to advocate for the rules-based system,
  • Enabling digital/paperless trade,
  • Supporting innovative companies,
  • Assess & improve the regulatory system in New Zealand for processed foods,
  • Confirming the New Zealand Screen Production Grant,
  • Staffing and labour shortages,
  • Support the Māori economy,
  • Support exporters transitioning to a carbon-zero future,
  • Support Industry Transformation Plans.

ProdCom: Improving Economic Resilience to Supply Chain Shocks [COMPLETED]

The Government has asked the Productivity Commission to undertake an inquiry into the resilience of the New Zealand economy to supply chain disruptions.

ExportNZ submitted on inquiry and recommended the following initiatives to help enhance the resilience of supply chain resilience:

  • Further investment in upgrading and increasing coastal shipping and KiwiRail capacity and further investment in securing main freight lines through the roading network.
  • Immigration policy that supports the attraction of migrant workers in the transport and logistics industry.
  • Movement and streamlining of infrastructure projects that are of National significance in building capacity and resilience to New Zealand’s supply chain.
  • Support for the development of an e-certification process will replace and modernise New Zealand’s electronic certification systems for exporting.
  • A focus for officials from the regulatory side, as well as those who are negotiating free trade agreements to keep working to simplify and remove non-tariff barriers that slow down freight.
  • New Zealand should continue to make joint commitments on supply chain resilience with our trading partners.

You can access the Productivity Commission Issues Paper HERE, and our ExportNZ submission HERE. We will notify members when the next phase of the inquiry begins.

18 May, 2023
| News

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