Our relationship with Latin America

Stretching from the Antarctic regions of southern Chile to Mexico in the north, Latin America’s population is expected to reach 625 million people by 2015. Its politics are increasingly democratic, and it enjoys a growing economy. New Zealand has well-established ties across Latin America. Our current focus is guided by the Latin American Strategy with a specific focus on our relationships with Brazil, Mexico, Chile, Argentina, Uruguay, and Peru. 

We have a shared interest in agriculture, Antarctic issues, disarmament, the environment and climate change, fisheries, human rights, and indigenous issues.

Formal connections

New Zealand’s formal connections with Latin American countries include our work with the United Nations (UN), World Trade Organisation (WTO), the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Forum (APEC), the Community for Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC), the Forum for East Asia – Latin America Cooperation (FEALAC) and the Global Research Alliance on Agricultural Greenhouse Gases.

We engage with Belize, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and Panama through the Central American Integration Scheme (SICA), which aims to establish a free-trade zone, common market and eventually a political union between its member countries. New Zealand became an Extra-Regional Observer to SICA in June 2014.

Find out more about Central American Integration Scheme (SICA) (external link)

Trade

New Zealand has well-established trading links with a number of Latin American countries. Mexico, Brazil, Chile and Argentina are among our top 60 trading partners. Dairy products dominate our export trade to these countries (NZ$998 million in 2013) and we enjoy a wide range of imports (NZ$463 million in 2013) from plywood, printers and photocopiers to tobacco and wine.

A significant number of Latin American countries (Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Paraguay and Uruguay) are members of the Cairns Group, along with New Zealand and Australia. This coalition of 18 agricultural exporting countries is pushing for agricultural trade reform. The permanent Chair of the Group is Australia.

Trade agreements and negotiations

  • New Zealand signed the Trans-Pacific Strategic Economic Partnership Agreement (known as P4) with Chile, Singapore and Brunei in 2005.
  • Chile, Peru and Mexico are participating in negotiations for the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP), along with other countries including the United States, Canada, Malaysia, Viet Nam, and Australia.
  • New Zealand is also an Observer to the Pacific Alliance - a regional integration initiative between Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Peru.

Aid

The New Zealand Aid Programme has worked with Latin America since the 1970s. Our priority there is agricultural development.

Read more about the New Zealand Aid Programme in Latin America

Embassies and consular services

 LocationService areas
Argentina, Buenos Aires Argentina, Paraguay, Uruguay
Brazil, Brasilia Brazil, Suriname
Chile, Santiago Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru
Mexico, Mexico City Belize, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Venezuela