We plan to start free trade negotiations with the European Union (EU) at end of this year.

Five things we want to achieve with the EU-NZ FTA

  1. Lower costs for consumers, making things like food and consumer goods cheaper for New Zealanders.
  2. Level the playing field for businesses in NZ and the EU by reducing tariffs, duties and other trade barriers.
  3. Ensure that the trade deal works for companies of all sizes, big and small.
  4. Drive economic progress in a way that protects the environment and contributes to better living conditions.
  5. Safeguard our ability to regulate and decide what is best for New Zealand and our people.

What's the benefit for New Zealand?

The EU is the world’s biggest trading entity, and many New Zealand businesses have interests there. A free trade agreement will reduce the prices our businesses pay at the European Union border by removing tariffs (import duties) and other barriers.  It will also level the playing field with countries that are already paying less due to existing free trade agreements.

EU FTA barriers

At the same time, a free trade agreement will reduce the cost of European imports, such as food and clothing into New Zealand, which is good for consumers.

EU FTA imports and exports

But it's not all about buying and selling

We are also committed to negotiating an agreement that upholds or improves New Zealand policies and outcomes in areas such as sustainability and climate change, labour standards and animal welfare.

What will we be negotiating? 

New Zealand and the EU recently agreed the broad scope of negotiations. A summary of these discussions is available.

Scoping summary document [PDF, 187 KB]

The process is in its early stages, but the European Union and New Zealand have other free trade agreements that provide useful background on the kinds of issues likely to be discussed:

Timeline

EU FTA timeline

How to get involved

We want to hear from anyone with an interest in the negotiations, including Māori, NGOs, businesses and members of the public. Your input helps us understand what is important for New Zealanders so that we can safeguard, secure and push for the things that count.

Your input or questions can be sent via:

Email: eu-fta@mfat.govt.nz

Post: Coordinator, EU FTA

Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade

Private Bag 18-901 Wellington

Between December 2015 and March 2016, we called for public submissions on the proposed FTA between New Zealand and the European Union. The published submissions are available here.

Check back here for future events, visit public engagement on trade, or follow @MFATgovtNZ on Twitter (external link) for updates.

Media and resources

Joint Statement, September 2015 (external link)

EU Trade Strategy, September 2015 (external link)

ECIPE Policy Brief No. 7/2015 (external link)

Brussels Report: “The European Union: Its Economic Significance and the Case for an FTA”, August 2014 [PDF, 1.4 MB]  (external link)

New Zealand Europe Business Council (NZEBC) position on FTA negotiations between European Union and New Zealand, August 2015 (external link)