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- NZ Inc Strategies
Our relationship with Thailand
We have a long-standing and warm relationship with Thailand, and in 2016 Thailand and New Zealand commemorated 60 years of diplomatic relations. Both countries hosted a number of cultural and social events that celebrated the broad connections linking us together.
We have around 10,000 Thai people resident in New Zealand with over half living in the Auckland region.
New Zealand and Thailand work cooperatively on environmental issues. We’re both members of the Global Research Alliance on Agricultural Greenhouse Gases, which brings countries together to find ways to grow more food without increasing greenhouse gas emissions.
The New Zealand Police and the Royal Thai Police have worked closely together for more than 30 years. Police cooperation has spanned across a range of issues such as transnational crime and disaster response in the region.
December 2016 statistics
Total trade in goods
Exports to Thailand
Top exports: milk powder, butter and dairy spreads, buttermilk
Imports from Thailand
Top imports: trucks and vans, motor vehicles, plastics
|GDP per capita||$5,889||(NZ GDP per capita is US$38,345)|
Thailand is the second largest economy in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and is New Zealand’s eighth largest trading partner. While the goods trade dominates, trade in some services sectors – particularly education, health, security and IT – is showing promise. Reflecting this, New Zealand companies like BECA, Fisher and Paykel and T&G have regional operations in Thailand. Thailand is New Zealand’s second-largest source of overseas students from South East Asia, and education cooperation between our countries is a priority for Thailand's Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Thai International Airways operates direct flights between Bangkok and Auckland five times a week, and in 2017 confirmed commitment to daily flights. Thai Airways is one of only three South East Asian airlines with direct flights to New Zealand. In 2016, there were over 22,000 Thai visitors to New Zealand and more than 100,000 New Zealanders visited Thailand. Related to this, New Zealand’s Embassy in Bangkok helps more New Zealanders with consular issues each year than any other New Zealand post.
Free trade agreements with Thailand
We have a free trade agreement with Thailand, concluded in 2005:
We have a regional free trade agreement that includes Thailand, concluded in 2012:
We're also negotiating another free trade agreement that includes Thailand:
NZ Inc ASEAN strategy
As a member of ASEAN, Thailand 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.
New Zealanders aged between 18 and 30 can apply for a 12-month working holiday visa for Thailand.
To apply, you can go to the Thai Embassy in Wellington.
For more information, read the Thai Embassy website (external link).
- New Zealand is represented in Thailand by the New Zealand Embassy, Bangkok
- Thailand is represented in New Zealand by the Royal Thai Embassy, Wellington (external link)
New Zealand to Thailand
- 2017: Trade Minister Todd McClay met with Deputy Prime Minister Somkid Jatusripitak, Minister of Commerce Apiradi Tantraporn and Deputy Minister of Education Panadda Diskul
- 2017: Hon Annette King and Hon Jo Goodhew visited Thailand for meetings with members from Thailand’s political system
- 2013: Prime Minister John Key made an official visit to Thailand, with Minister Nathan Guy and a business delegation
- September 2012: Trade Minister Tim Groser met with Commerce Minister Boonsong Teriyapirom and the Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Kittiratt Na-Ranong, and met Dhanin Chearavanont, Chair of Thailand’s largest conglomerate Charoen Pokhpand
- July 2012: Foreign Affairs Minister Murray McCully met with Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra and witnessed the signing of a police cooperation agreement between New Zealand and Thailand
Thailand to New Zealand
- 2013: Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra made an official visit with six Ministers
News & Events
The New Zealand Aid Programme investment priorities show how we will focus our aid over the next four years.
Design a winning logo to mark 60 years of NZ and Thai bilateral relationships - and win a trip to New Zealand and free English classes.
Smoke haze from forest fires in Indonesia periodically causes very high pollution readings in parts of Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore. Since August this year, the level of particulate air pollution has reached very hazardous levels in certain parts of these countries.