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Our relationship with the Caribbean

As fellow small states, New Zealand and the Caribbean have shared interests that have evolved through our Commonwealth history and personal connections, the dairy trade, and sporting ties particularly with cricket. Engagement between New Zealand and the Caribbean is positive and active. The 2014 opening of the New Zealand High Commission in Bridgetown, Barbados, gave a sustained lift to the tempo and substance of the relationship between our two countries.

Underpinning New Zealand’s engagement with the Caribbean is a desire to build stronger partnerships with this large region of small island states. We want to foster connections between the Caribbean and the South Pacific, and use our unique expertise and experience to explore solutions to development issues for island states, including renewable energy and oceans management.

In 2014 a number of Caribbean leaders visited New Zealand to cement high level contacts and explore opportunities to grow relationships between our two countries. There's particular interest in building links in the renewable energy, agriculture and education sectors, and in Māori economic development models. Our hosting the Cricket World Cup in 2015 has also led to greater interaction between New Zealand and the Caribbean.

Formal connections

New Zealand engages closely with the Caribbean, through the United Nations and the Commonwealth, particularly on issues to do with small island developing states such as oceans management, transnational crime and small arms trafficking.

We have formal diplomatic relationships with the following Caribbean countries: Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname, and Trinidad, and Tobago. We also have formal diplomatic relationships with the two main regional organisations, the CARICOM Secretariat and the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS).

Our High Commission in Bridgetown, Barbados manages our diplomatic relationship with CARICOM and OECS.

Trade

We have a long, yet modest history of trade links with the Caribbean. Our exports are largely dairy products and meat, and we import spirits and accessories. Total two-way trade between New Zealand and the Caribbean in 2014 was $155 million, of which $145 million were New Zealand exports. There's scope to expand trade, tourism and investment as the economies of the Caribbean develop. 

Aid

As small island developing states, most Caribbean countries face development challenges related to their size, isolation and vulnerability. Our development work in the Caribbean focuses on partnering in areas of need where New Zealand has expertise and experience:

  • renewable energy
  • disaster risk management
  • knowledge and skills (including scholarships and targeted assistance in agriculture).

New Zealand signed a Development Cooperation Arrangement with CARICOM in May 2014 which encourages partnership in these areas.

Find out more about the New Zealand Aid Programme with the Caribbean

Embassies and consular services

Location Service area
Bridgetown, Barbados Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago
Canada, Ottawa Jamaica
Mexico, Mexico City Belize and the Dominican Republic
Brazil, Brasilia Suriname
United States, Washington Haiti

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