Our relationship with Palau

New Zealand’s relationship with Palau is centred on our common interests in Pacific issues such as regional security, sustainable fisheries management, climate change and regional trade. We’re both members of the Pacific Islands Forum.

Palau is an independent, democratic country with strong ties to the United States through a 50-year Compact of Free Association which runs until 2044. Under the terms of the Compact, the US provides funding to Palau as well as public services like weather forecasting, health services, disaster assistance and postal services. The US is also responsible for Palau's defence and security.

Palau’s 340 islands have a total land area of 458 square kilometres, spread over 629,000 square kilometres of the Pacific to the east of the Philippines. The 29,000 population lives on just eight of these islands. The capital, Ngerulmud, is in Melekeok State which is on Palau’s largest island, Babeldaob. 


2014 statistics

Total trade in goods 



Exports to Palau

$428,000 Top exports: retail medicines, power supply meters, ice cream

Imports from Palau



US$269 million

GDP per capita US$15,210 (NZ GDP per capita is US$43,837)
GDP growth  8%  

With no direct shipping links, trade between New Zealand and Palau is minimal. There are some opportunities for New Zealand companies, particularly in the construction sector, and businesses that export building materials, food and drinks. 

Exporting to the Pacific Islands - New Zealand Trade & Enterprise (external link)


New Zealand supports Palau through the North Pacific Development Fund, which is administered by the Consulate-General in Honolulu, Hawaii. It provides funding for locally run projects up to the value of NZ$75,000 per project.


Recent official visits

New Zealand to Palau
  • July 2014: Foreign Affairs Minister Murray McCully visited Palau for the 45th Pacific Islands Forum
  • July 2014: Ambassador Robert Kaiwai visited Koror to present his credentials as Ambassador
Palau to New Zealand
  • September 2013: A delegation that included senators Hon Surangel Whipps Jr, Hon Philip B.Reklai and Hon Rukebai Inabo visited New Zealand to learn about our GST system
  • April 2013: Surangel Whipps Jr, Rukebai Inabo and Uduch Sengebau Senior attended the Pacific Parliamentarians’ Forum
  • March 2013: Minister of Natural Resources, Environment and Tourism Umiich Flemming Sengebau attended the Pacific Energy Summit in Auckland
  • 2011: President Johnson Toribiong and Vice-President Sandra Pierantozzi attended the Pacific Islands Forum in Auckland

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