Malaysia is one of our fastest expanding export markets, and our sixth largest goods trading partner. Two-way trade in goods was more than NZ$3 billion in 2014.

We also export a range of high-value services to Malaysia, such as education, tourism, engineering, and information and computer technology. Investment between the countries has grown by 56% since 2009 to more than half a billion dollars in 2013.

With Malaysia’s large and growing population, there is plenty of opportunity for growth, and our free trade agreement is helping pave the way. The agreement offers more to importers and exporters than the commitments previously made in the ASEAN Australia New Zealand Free Trade Agreement (AANZFTA).

Facts and figures

Malaysia Population: 30 million (2014)

Malaysia GDP: US$327 billion (2014)

Timeline: Negotiations began in 2005, agreement signed October 2009 and came into effect August 2010

New Zealand’s major exports to Malaysia:  Dairy, malt extract, lamb and mutton

New Zealand’s major imports from Malaysia: Crude oil, oil cake, televisions

Agreement highlights

  • tariffs on 99.5% of New Zealand’s current exports will be eliminated by 2016 – this represented about $10 million in annual savings for exporters at the time of signing the FTA.
  • simpler rules of origin (ROO) requirements than AANZFTA – eg traders are only required to submit declarations of origin rather than certificates of origin
  • improved market access for New Zealand services providers, such as education, environmental, management consulting and veterinary services
  • future-proofing New Zealand’s investment and key services interests through Most Favoured Nation (MFN) treatment; requiring Malaysia to automatically provide New Zealand with any better treatment it provides future FTA partners
  • more cooperation to create new opportunities in areas of mutual interest including education, forestry, health, biotechnology, agritechnology and manufacturing
  • easier trading through agreed rules on: customs, sanitary and phytosanitary measures, standards, technical regulations and conformity assessment measures, intellectual property rules and competition policy
  • a clear and detailed process to settle disputes related to the FTA.

Alongside the FTA, New Zealand and Malaysia have signed Environment and Labour Agreements. These provide for more effective discussion and cooperation on labour and environmental matters.

Using the FTA

Businesses trading in goods

Use the Tariff Finder (external link) to find out:

  1. the tariff classification for the good
  2. the tariff commitments
  3. the Rules of Origin (ROO)
  4. how to get a Declaration of Origin

Read the Customs fact sheet for the NZ-Malaysia FTA Rules of Origin #44 (external link) 

Service sector businesses

Use Annex 4 of the FTA to find out:

  1. how your service is classified
  2. if there are limits on national treatment or market access for your service
  3. if there are any additional commitments for your service

 FTA Annex 4, New Zealand's schedule of specific services commitments [PDF, 432 KB]

 Read an overview of what the FTA means for services in chapter nine of the MFAT Guide to the Agreement [PDF, 1MB].

Investors

Use the MFAT Guide to the Agreement [PDF, 1MB] and chapter ten of the FTA [PDF, 304 KB] to find out how the FTA helps investors.

Deciding which FTA to use

New Zealand has another trade agreement with Malaysia – AANZFTA, which includes Australia and other ASEAN countries. The Tariff Finder (external link) will help you decide which one to use, but there are other factors such as transhipment/routing requirements that you should also consider. Use the Tariff Finder (external link) and this NZIER study [PDF, 130KB] to help you decide. 

Media and resources

The full text of the NZ Malaysia Free Trade Agreement contains commitments on Goods, Services, Investment, Movement of Business People, Intellectual Property, Economic Cooperation, Competition, Sanitary and Phytosanitary measures, Technical Barriers to Trade, Rules of Origin, Customs Cooperation, Trade Remedies, Dispute Settlement, Transparency, Institutional Provisions, General Exceptions and Final Provisions.

  • Annex 1 [PDF, 2.5 MB]: Schedules of Tariff Commitments
  • Annex 2 [PDF, 496 KB]: Product Specific Rules
  • Annex 3 [PDF, 66 KB]: Procedures and Verification
  • Annex 4: Schedules on Specific Services Commitments
  • Annex 5 [PDF, 20 KB]: Most Favoured Nation Treatment Sectoral Coverage under Article 8.8
  • Annex 6 [PDF, 314 KB]: Schedules of Movement of Natural Persons Commitments
  • Annex 7 [PDF, 12 KB]: Expropriation
  • Annex 8 [PDF, 20 KB]: Areas of Cooperation

Other Instruments:

 National Interests Analysis study [PDF, 692 KB] was done before formal negotiation started, and shows the potential benefits of the FTA.