Our relationship with Myanmar
New Zealand's relationship with Myanmar (formerly Burma) has grown significantly since 2012. Interaction was very limited in the decades the country was under military rule. In 2011 a new military backed civilian government began a process of reform, and since then our relationship has been steadily expanding. New Zealand established a representative office in Myanmar in 2013, which was upgraded to a full embassy in 2014.
With a population of 51 million, Myanmar is the fifth largest ASEAN economy. Continuing to develop our relationship with Myanmar is important to New Zealand to achieve our ASEAN objectives of stronger diplomatic and trade links in the region. Myanmar's planned transport and energy links will place it at the crossroads of major regional trading routes, especially into China and India, the world’s two most populous nations.
New Zealand has taken in a significant number of refugees from Myanmar.Between 2003 and 2013 we accepted 1,900 refugees from Myanmar, and today around 2,500 people born in Myanmar call New Zealand home.
Total trade in goods
$ 52.6 million
Exports to Myanmar
|$ 46.6 million||
Top exports: dairy products, aircraft and/or parts
Imports from Myanmar
$ 6.0 million
|Top imports: clothing,wood products, vegetables|
|GDP per capita||US$6768|
New Zealand’s trade relationship with Myanmar is small but growing. Exports have increased from $9 million in 2009 to more than $46.6 million in 2018. Dairy products make up 90% of our exports.
As both countries are members of the ASEAN Australia New Zealand Free Trade Agreement, tariffs are less than 15% for most products.
Free trade agreements with Myanmar
We have a regional free trade agreement with Myanmar:
We're also negotiating another regional free trade agreement that includes Myanmar:
NZ Inc ASEAN strategy
As a member of ASEAN, Myanmar is included in the NZ Inc ASEAN strategy. NZ Inc is the Government’s plan to strengthen New Zealand’s economic, political and security relationships with key international partners.
Our new aid programme in Myanmar focuses on developing agriculture, and lifting knowledge and skills - particularly in governance and English language.
- New Zealand is represented in Myanmar by the New Zealand Embassy, Yangon
- Myanmar is represented in New Zealand by the Embassy of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar, Canberra, Australia (external link)
New Zealand to Myanmar
- November 2014: Prime Minister John Key visited Myanmar for the East Asia Summit (EAS) meeting
- August 2014: Foreign Affairs Minister Murray McCully visited Myanmar for the East Asia Summit (EAS) Foreign Ministers Meeting and the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF)
- August 2014: Minister of Trade, Tim Groser, visted Myanmar for the EAS Economic Ministers Meeting.
Myanmar to New Zealand
- May 2014: The Speaker of the Myanmar Upper House, U Khin Aung Myint, led a delegation of four parliamentarians. The programme included formal talks with the New Zealand Speaker David Carter and an introduction to the New Zealand House of Representatives
- March 2013: The Speaker of the Myanmar Lower House, Shwe Mann, led a delegation of five parliamentarians
- March 2013: President Thein Sein led a delegation of twelve Ministers, including Foreign Minister Wunna Maung Lwin
News & Events
The New Zealand Government has temporarily closed its High Commission in Bridgetown, Barbados and its Embassy in Yangon, Myanmar due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The new Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC 2021) Bill was introduced to the House on Wednesday by the Minister of Foreign Affairs.
Find out more about the current outbreak of measles in New Zealand.