Resolving barriers to trade is an important part of the Ministry’s Economic Diplomacy Programme, which seeks to use the Ministry’s diplomatic network to help New Zealand exporters succeed in overseas markets.

A 2016 study by the New Zealand Institute of Economic Research put the annual cost to New Zealand of non-tariff measures (all of the rules and regulations) in the 21 countries of the APEC region at US$5.9 billion.

An estimated NZ$950 million worth of barriers faced by New Zealand exporters were addressed in 2018-19. To resolve barriers to trade, the Ministry works in partnership with other agencies such as the Ministry for Primary Industries, the Ministry of Business, Innovation, and Employment, the Ministry of Transport and New Zealand Trade and Enterprise. Recent successful outcomes include finalisation of Air Services Agreements enabling access to new markets, and obtaining approval for food processing plants to supply ingredients into a European market, where we worked closely with the Ministry for Primary Industries to achieve a positive resolution.

A further example of success resulted from joint effort with the New Zealand Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) to assist a New Zealand aircraft manufacturer having difficulty obtaining approval to export aircraft parts to the European Union. We worked with the CAA to obtain a decision confirming the conditions for approval and which provided a good basis for New Zealand authorities to obtain a solution for the whole aviation sector.

A screen shot from our YouTube videos on NTBs. Credit: MFAT