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Map of Philippines

Map of Philippines.
flag of the Philippines.

Republic of the Philippines


Relations with New Zealand

Relations between New Zealand and the Philippines are friendly, and increasingly strong. The relationship has become more substantial in recent times with increasing migration and trade flows. The Philippines is an important source country for migrants to New Zealand. Two-way trade totalled about NZ$804 million in the year to December 2012. A small but long-standing development assistance partnership adds strength to the bilateral relationship.

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Bilateral links

Trade and economic relationship

The Philippines is one of New Zealand’s top 20 goods export markets.  It’s currently at number 15, with NZ$677 million exported in the year ending December 2012.  The Philippines was New Zealand’s seventh-largest export market for dairy products in 2012 (behind China, the US, Saudi Arabia, the Unite Arab Emirates, Venezuela and Malaysia), which continue to make up about 65 percent of our merchandise exports to the Philippines.  Meat and forest product exports are also significant.  Key merchandise imports from the Philippines include bananas, other fruits and electronic parts.

The trading relationship is underpinned by cooperation at the official level.  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, is facilitating bilateral trade and investment, and will focus further attention on areas of potential commercial opportunity.

Bilateral business councils operate in both countries, and there have been several business missions in both directions.

New Zealand Trade (year ended Dec 2012)


NZ’s 23rd largest trading partner (two-way trade)

NZ Exports

NZ$677 million (FOB)

Main exports

Dairy ($439m); Wood ($66m); Meat ($44m)

NZ Imports

NZ$127 million (CIF)

Main imports

Edible fruit and nuts ($62m); Electrical machinery ($15m)


The Philippines is an important market for New Zealand dairy products. As part of the cooperation package agreed as a side agreement to the ASEAN-Australia-New Zealand Free Trade Agreement (AANZFTA) New Zealand and the Philippines have developed the Philippine-New Zealand Dairy Project, which will help improve the Philippines dairy capacity.

Science and technology

The Philippines is a growing ICT export destination for New Zealand, as well as an exporter of ICT to New Zealand. New Zealand IT firms are 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, expanded market reach and economic reasons.

Since 2011, NZTE, has been organizing an annual Philippine ICT Mission to New Zealand.  The overall objective of the Mission is to continue to raise the profile of the NZ ICT industry; establish strengthened linkages with ICT champions in the Philippines; and explore potential opportunities with prospective business partners/customers in NZ. The first two missions were in 2011 and 2012, with eight and five companies respectively.

Air services

Current Air Services arrangements with the Philippines are not sufficient to meet the needs of this growing market.  Our close people-to-people links are driving the need for a direct service between New Zealand and the Philippines.  We hope to negotiate a new Air Services Arrangement in 2013 that will better serve this need. 


Political and cultural links

Education and student exchanges

The Philippines was New Zealand's 14th largest source of international students in 2011, with 1234 Filipinos studying in New Zealand. In the 2010/11 financial year 669 Filipinos were given visa approval to be full-fee paying students in New Zealand, up from 258 in the previous financial year. There is growing interest in the Philippines towards New Zealand providers, as Filipinos are becoming increasingly aware of education opportunities available in other English-speaking countries outside of the USA.

Development assistance

Official development assistance is part of the bilateral relationship and is focused on complementing ASEAN's community-building goals through the agreed flagship areas of scholarships, disaster risk management, fostering young business leaders and agricultural diplomacy. Joint work has been done on a proposed long term dairy development project. The embassy in Manila operates a Head of Mission Fund to support small activities that meet development needs in the Philippines.

Cultural links

People-to-People links give a strong foundation to the relationship. Filipinos make up one of the largest ethnic groups in New Zealand, and are expected to total nearly 1% of the population when census figures are released. The Filipino community in New Zealand is active, vibrant and well-engaged.


A bilateral arrangement on enhanced cooperation between New Zealand and Philippine law enforcement was signed in 2007. A number of activities, funded through means such as the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade's Asian Security Fund and official development assistance (aid programme), have been undertaken under the arrangement. These include clandestine drug laboratory training and contributions to the Philippine National Police's "model police station" initiative.


A bilateral arrangement on defence cooperation was signed by New Zealand and the Philippines during President Aquino's visit to New Zealand in 2012. Defence cooperation is also strong in regional processes. New Zealand and the Philippines recently concluded a c0-chairmanship of the Experts Working Group on Peacekeeping under the ADMM+.


Regional and multilateral links

The Philippines is a founding nation of the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN), which New Zealand has been a dialogue partner with since 1975. New Zealand also has a close working relationship with the Philippines in regional and multilateral forums such as the UN, APEC, 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).


Official visits

New Zealand Ministerial and senior parliamentary visits to The Philippines have included:

Visits from the Philippines to New Zealand have included:

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New Zealand Embassy

Office location:

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
Tel:(+63) 2 891 5358
Fax:(+63) 2 891 5357
Email: nzemmanila@globelines.com.ph
New Zealand Embassy Manila, Philippines [external link].

Philippine Embassy to New Zealand

50 Hobson Street, Thorndon
PO Box 12042
New Zealand

Tel:(+64) 4 472 9848
Fax:(+64) 4 472 5710
Email: embassy@wellington-pe.co.nz

Embassy of the Philippines, Wellington [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: Monday, 09 December 2013 13:00 NZDT