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New Zealand and the World Trade Organisation

The WTO is an organisation of 153 member governments that negotiate together to liberalise international trade and establish and uphold international trade rules. Through its WTO membership, New Zealand benefits from clear trade rules that are applicable to all.

The WTO assists New Zealand in making trade deals with larger economies. With the weight of other member countries in support, New Zealand can make broader and more ambitious multilateral trade gains.  The WTO also has an effective dispute settlement mechanism to resolve trade disputes between its members which New Zealand has used to protect its interests.



The Doha Round of WTO trade negotiations commenced in 2001. This Round, also known as the Doha Development Round, aims to reduce trade barriers and assist developing countries through trade liberalisation.


Improving access to markets

The major focus of negotiations at the WTO is to facilitate trade liberalisation through the opening of markets and the removal of trade barriers.


Strengthening trade rules

Another important aim of the WTO is to clarify and strengthen the rules used to govern international trade.


Trade issues

New Zealand is committed to pursuing high standards in a number of areas related to trade. Many of these issues form part of WTO negotiations, and may also at times be included in free trade agreement negotiations.

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Page last updated: Wednesday, 09 January 2013 17:11 NZDT