Fourteen of our top 20 export markets are APEC members, including the three largest economies in the world - the United States, Japan and China. In 2010, the value of New Zealand’s total merchandise trade with APEC members was NZ$59.9 billion, representing 73 percent of New Zealand’s total trade. The APEC region also accounts for around 50 percent of our inward foreign direct investment. Close coordination with APEC economies is vital to New Zealand’s future prosperity. APEC provides a vehicle for regular high level dialogue and enhanced trade and economic integration with New Zealand’s regional partners.
APEC assists New Zealand business by supporting trade liberalisation and promoting high-quality free trade agreements in the region. APEC fora also bring New Zealand regulators together with their regional counterparts, increasing familiarity and confidence with each others’ systems. This has been successful in reducing costs of trading across borders, and provides a channel to improve the business environment. Progress in these areas will continue to make it easier for New Zealanders to do business throughout the APEC region.
APEC also serves as a useful incubator of ideas as its non-binding nature means that economies may to be more willing to participate in new initiatives. As a result, APEC has begun many “path finder” initiatives of interest to New Zealand, where economies volunteer to implement an activity while leaving it open to other economies to join when they are able.