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The negotiations were substantively concluded in November 2022 and the Upgrade was signed in August 2023.
This upgrade of our existing free trade agreement with ASEAN aims to modernise it, further reduce barriers impacting exports, and boost trade in the region.
In 2017, AANZFTA countries undertook a General Review of the existing agreement. This review took place in two stages; an assessment of the impact of the agreement, and the consideration of options to address identified issues.
In 2018, AANZFTA Ministers endorsed recommendations from the General Review, agreeing to start upgrade negotiations. These negotiations were formally launched in late 2020, with negotiation rounds starting from 2021. The negotiations were substantively concluded in November 2022.
See the Leaders Statement on Asean.org(external link)
See the Statement on Beehive.govt.nz(external link)
Why do we need an upgrade?
AANZFTA has now been in force for over a decade. While it has provided significant benefits to New Zealand, more can be done to address remaining issues and further develop rules in modern trade policy areas.
The upgrade will modernise the agreement in line with more recent trade policy thinking and reflect the changes in trade trends in our region. This will be important to ensuring that the free trade agreement remains relevant and is effectively facilitating trade in the region. We also want to ensure that AANZFTA will contribute towards achieving the government’s economic diversification goals.
What will the upgrade deliver?
The outcomes delivered at the time of substantive conclusion of the negotiations include:
- Addressing barriers to trade: the upgrade aims to address issues businesses have told us they encounter when trading with the ASEAN region. This includes modern approaches to managing supply chains like direct consignment and third-party invoicing, and introducing commitments to address and reduce non-tariff barriers that add red tape to businesses.
- Improving trade facilitation: the upgrade will make trade easier and more efficient, through outcomes such as expedited customs procedures – including measures like clearing perishable goods within six hours of their arrival - new options for proof of origin of goods, and standardising rules for service providers and investors.
- Delivering on Trade for All: the upgrade introduces new inclusive and progressive provisions, including a new framework for cooperation on sustainable trade issues like the environment, labour standards and women’s economic empowerment.
- Learning lessons from COVID-19: parties have committed to measures that will make the trade of essential goods easier and more efficient during times of humanitarian crises, which will help New Zealand deliver an effective response.
Share your views on the upgrade
We’re interested in what New Zealanders and New Zealand businesses have to say about AANZFTA.
Find out how to share your views.