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Map of Philippines

Map of Philippines.
flag of the Philippines.

Republic of the Philippines


Relations with New Zealand

The Philippines is a country on the rise, supported by solid levels of growth in recent years and a young and growing middle-class population. The Philippines is a long standing partner of New Zealand in South East Asia. Relations between New Zealand and the Philippines are friendly and continue to grow. Two-way trade in goods and services passed the NZ$1 billion mark in 2013. Our relationship has become more substantial in recent times building on increased trade flows and migration.

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Bilateral links

Trade and economic relationship

New Zealand-Philippines Trade (NZ$, for year ending June 2014)

NZ Exports (goods and services)

NZ$916 million (FOB)

Main exports

Dairy ($634m); forestry products ($90m); education services ($33m) meat ($24m)

NZ Imports (goods and services)

NZ$202 million (CIF)

Main imports

Fruit and vegetables ($71m); travel/tourism services ($41m); commercial services ($30m)

Ranking (year ending 2013)

NZís 24th largest trading partner and 12th largest export market

Data from Global Trade Atlas and Statistics NZ

The Philippines is an important export destination for New Zealand. It was our 12th largest export market for goods in 2013. Dairy exports underpin our trade to the Philippines, comprising 73 per cent of our total exports in 2013.  The Philippines is one our five largest export markets for dairy products.

Imports from the Philippines stood at $142 million for the year ended June 2013, after peaking at NZ$ 210 million in the year ended June 2008 and declining when New Zealand stopped sourcing petroleum from the Philippines. Key imports include bananas, other fruits and electronic parts. Services trade is more balanced, exceeding NZ$160 million (for the year ended June 2013).

The Agreement establishing the ASEAN-New Zealand-Australia Free Trade Area (AANZFTA) which entered into force for trade between New Zealand and the Philippines on 1 January 2010, creates a region-wide framework under which trade (in goods and services) and investment can flourish. It removes barriers to trade and provides certainty and transparency for New Zealand and Philippine companies. By 2020, more than 99% of New Zealand’s trade to the Philippines will be duty-free.

New Zealand and the Philippines are also engaged in negotiations for the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership which, when it enters into force, will deepen economic integration between our countries, supporting our business’ ability to trade in the region.

The Philippines ICT industry is growing rapidly, led by a flourishing business processing industry.  Two-way trade in this area is growing with New Zealand IT firms active in network security, productivity and automation, mobile applications, payment/financial systems, and business analytics.  Several New Zealand firms have set up back office operations in the Philippines for scalability and to extend their global market reach.


Political and cultural links


Over 1000 Filipino international students study in New Zealand each year. Up to 18 scholarships are available for Filipino nationals for postgraduate study in New Zealand each year through the ASEAN-New Zealand Scholars Awards. 

Development assistance

The Philippines is a developing country with high levels of poverty and vulnerability to natural disasters.  The Philippines expressed gratitude for the quick and effective support New Zealand provided following the devastating typhoon Haiyan (known as typhoon Yolanda in the Philippines) in late 2013, including a New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) deployment and $4.8m provided in humanitarian relief. An additional $5m has been provided to support ongoing recovery efforts, comprising NZ$2.5 million to a Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) project to restore agricultural livelihoods, and NZ$2.5 million to the Philippine Red Cross to strengthen warehousing and pre-positioned supplies in regional depots.

New Zealand provides targeted support to the Philippines in a number of ways. Official Development Assistance (ODA) is focused on complementing ASEAN's community-building goals through a number of agreed flagship areas:

The New Zealand Government has placed priority on the implementation of a five year, Philippine–New Zealand Dairy Project which aims to lift local milk production in two dairying regions.

You can find more information about our development projects on the NZ Aid website.


People-to-People links provide a strong foundation for our relationship. The Filipino community comprises the largest resident community of South East Asian origin in New Zealand. Since 2006 the community has more than doubled in to be more than 40,000 in 2013. This represents nearly one percent of New Zealand’s total population. The rapid growth of the Filipino community in New Zealand adds a new dynamic to the relationship. Filipino labour provides an important contribution to critical parts of New Zealand’s labour market including in health care, dairy farming and the Canterbury rebuild. The Filipino national language Tagalog is spoken by just over 29,000 people making it the 11th most widely spoken language in New Zealand. 

In 2014, a working holiday scheme entered into force, allowing 100 young New Zealanders and 100 young Filipinos to visit the other country each year and undertake temporary employment and some education or training as part of their travel.

Further information for Filipino applicants can be found on the Immigration New Zealand website.

New Zealand applicants should get in touch with the Embassy of the Philippines in Wellington.


A bilateral arrangement on defence cooperation was signed by New Zealand and the Philippines during President Aquino’s visit to New Zealand in 2012. Our cooperation in this area is fortified through our cooperation in regional processes. 


Regional and multilateral links

The Philippines is a founding nation of the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN). New Zealand celebrates 40 years of diplomatic relations with ASEAN in 2015.  New Zealand has a close working relationship with the Philippines in regional and multilateral forums such as the UN, the WTO and the Cairns Group, the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF), the ASEAN Defence Ministers Meeting Plus, the Forum for East Asia and Latin American Co-operation (FEALAC) and the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM). We are also active partners in APEC, which the Philippines will host 2015.



Visits from New Zealand to The Philippines have included:

Visits from the Philippines to New Zealand have included:

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New Zealand and the Philippines established diplomatic relations in 1966. New Zealand has maintained a resident ambassador in the Philippines since 1975.

New Zealand Embassy in Manila

New Zealand Embassy
23rd floor, BPI Buendia Center
360 Senator Gil Puyat Avenue
Makati City 1200

Postal address: PO Box 3228 MCPO, Makati City 1272

Office hours: Monday to Friday: 0800–1630

Ph:     (+63) 2 891 5358
Fax:    (+63) 2 891 5357

Email: nzemmanila@globelines.com.ph
Website: New Zealand Embassy Manila, Philippines [external link].

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Travel advice

The Safetravel website provides a travel advisory for travellers to the Philippines [external link].

Enquiries may be directed to Consular Division at the following numbers:
Tel: +64 4 439 8000
Fax: +64 4 439 8532.

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Page last updated: Friday, 31 October 2014 14:03 NZDT