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Embassies and consular services for Hong Kong (SAR)
|New Zealand Consulate-General|
Our relationship with Hong Kong
Hong Kong and New Zealand have deep and long-standing relations. New Zealand has a constructive relationship with the tiny but densely populated special administrative region (SAR) of China, underpinned by a dynamic economic relationship and long established people-to-people ties. New Zealand and Hong Kong are both strong supporters of open markets and free multilateral trade, and there is a free trade agreement between the two economies.
An important trading partner for New Zealand in its own right, Hong Kong also acts as a gateway for our exports of goods and services into mainland China and is one of our largest sources of foreign direct investment.
Hong Kong, officially known as the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China, is a former British territory that reverted to Chinese sovereignty on 1 July 1997. As a Special Administrative Region of China, Hong Kong is not itself fully sovereign and is not a member of organisations such as the United Nations or East Asia Summit. The People’s Republic of China has explicit responsibility for its foreign policy. It is, however, a full and separate member of a range of economic organisations, including the World Trade Organisation (WTO) and Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), under the nomenclature “Hong Kong, China” (HKC).
This high degree of autonomy was afforded to Hong Kong in accordance with the “One Country, Two Systems” principle established for its return to Chinese sovereignty in 1997. In recent years this autonomy has been undermined. Since China’s imposition of the National Security Law in 2020 there has been a steady erosion of rights and freedoms in the city.
The New Zealand Government is concerned about these changes. Following the passage of the National Security law in 2020 the Government suspended its extradition treaty with Hong Kong and has also voiced its concerns both privately and publically, sometimes with other countries, and in relevant multilateral forums.
Exports to Hong Kong
Top exports: milk powder, infant formula, meat
Imports from Hong Kong
Top imports: transportation, electrical machinery and equipment
For up to date statistics please visit Statistics New Zealand Trade Dashboard(external link).
With similar populations and complementary economies, Hong Kong and New Zealand are ideal trading partners. New Zealand's exports to Hong Kong are dominated by food and agriculture products, and Hong Kong sells New Zealand manufactured goods. New Zealand exporters experience few barriers to get their products to market in Hong Kong.
Although New Zealand sells more goods to Hong Kong than it buys, trade in services is more balanced with New Zealand importing $216.55 million and exporting $214.83 million in services in 2022.
There's also strong two-way investment. Hong Kong is among the top 10 sources of foreign investment in New Zealand amounting to NZD $9.7 billion in the year ended March 2022. Hong Kong is also one of the top destinations for New Zealand overseas direct investments.
Hong Kong also provides a gateway for some New Zealand exporters who use Hong Kong as a platform to better position themselves within mainland China.
Free trade agreements with Hong Kong
New Zealand has an open and sophisticated trading relationship with Hong Kong, supported by our Closer Economic Partnership (2010) – Hong Kong’s first bilateral free trade agreement:
For many years New Zealanders have worked in Hong Kong in a variety of professions, and today there's a sizeable expat community. Hong Kong and New Zealand share many common law traditions and a number of New Zealand lawyers and judges have practiced in Hong Kong.
Hong Kong has traditionally been a valuable source of international students for New Zealand. There are also links between our universities and polytechnics, and an Education Cooperation Arrangement between our respective Ministries of Education.
Traditionally Hong Kong tourists have been a big market for New Zealand with more than 58,000 short term visitors in the year ended January 2019. The number of Hong Kong tourists visiting New Zealand is growing again, with tourists in the year ended January 2023 being at the highest level since COVID-19.
New Zealand has a popular and reciprocal working holiday arrangement with Hong Kong that up to 400 young people from each country can take advantage of each year. New Zealanders aged between 18 and 30 can apply for a 12-month working holiday visa for Hong Kong.
For more information, go to the Government of Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Immigration Department website(external link).
Embassies and Consulates
- New Zealand is represented in Hong Kong by the New Zealand Consulate-General, Hong Kong
- Hong Kong is represented in New Zealand by the Embassy of the People's Republic of China, Wellington (external link)(external link)
- The Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office in Sydney (external link)(external link) promotes Hong Kong interests in New Zealand
Recent official visits
New Zealand to Hong Kong
- May 2017: Prime Minister Bill English travelled to Hong Kong to promote New Zealand’s economic and trade interests.
- November 2016: Minister for Local Government and Minister for Ethnic Communities, Peseta Sam Lotu-liga, visited to discuss issues across both portfolios.
- October 2016: Minister of Trade, Todd McClay, visited for a series of trade discussions.
- September 2016: Minister for the Community and Voluntary Sector, Jo Goodhew, visited to attend the Social Enterprise World Forum.
- November 2015: Minister for Primary Industries, Nathan Guy, visited to meet with New Zealand companies, and the Hong Kong Jockey Club.
- November 2015: Minister for Māori Development, Te Ururoa Flavell, led a Māori business delegation to Hong Kong.
- October 2015: Minister of Trade, Tim Groser, visited to discuss the operation of the Hong Kong, China-New Zealand Closer Economic Partnership.
- September 2015: Associate Minister of Trade, Todd McClay, and Minister of Commerce and Consumer Affairs, Paul Goldsmith, visited to meet with the Secretary of Commerce, and New Zealand exporters.
Hong Kong to New Zealand
- June 2014: Secretary for Security, Tung-Kwok Lai, visited to attend meetings to discuss law enforcement, immigration, customs, and emergency and disaster management.
- March 2014: Secretary for Education, Eddie Ng, visited to attend the International Summit on the Teaching Profession.
- August 2013: Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development, Gregory So, visited for meetings on the bilateral trade and economic relationship.
- April 2012: Chief Executive, Donald Tsang, visited New Zealand for meetings on the relationship and to promote the implementation of the Closer Economic Partnership.