Hong Kong China-New Zealand
Closer Economic Partnership


New Zealand was the first foreign country to secure a free trade agreement with Hong Kong.

­The New Zealand-Hong Kong, China Closer Economic Partnership (CEP) was signed on 29 March 2010 and entered into force on 1 January 2011. The Agreement gives our exporters a competitive edge, and the ability to take advantage of growing opportunities in the region. The CEP complements New Zealand’s FTA with China and enhances the potential for Hong Kong to be used as a platform for trade into China. Hong Kong is a Special Administrative Region of China.

Like New Zealand, Hong Kong has one of the world’s most open economies. In 2021 we exported $1.2 billion in goods to Hong Kong, making it our 7th largest export destination. Hong Kong has very little in the way of natural resources, so services make up over 93% of GDP. This means there is little local competition for our agricultural products, making Hong Kong an attractive destination for our exporters.

Agreement highlights

  • Greater certainty of access into the Hong Kong services market, including in private education, business services, environmental services and logistics.
  • Government procurement is included in the agreement, ensuring New Zealand businesses can compete with Hong Kong businesses for government contracts on a level playing field.
  • Locked in duty-free access for New Zealand goods into Hong Kong, providing greater certainty for exporters.
  • ·Future-proofing rules that ensure service suppliers in some sectors will benefit from any improved access that Hong Kong might grant to other FTA partners in the future.
  • Measures to facilitate trade including 48 hour customs clearance of New Zealand goods entering Hong Kong.
  • Easier trading through agreed rules on: sanitary and phytosanitary measures, technical barriers to trade, intellectual property, competition policy and e-commerce.
  • A clear and detailed process for settling disputes.

Alongside the CEP, New Zealand has Environment and Labour agreements with Hong Kong that promote sound labour and environmental policies and practices.

Protecting rights

The CEP preserves the New Zealand Government’s inherent right to regulate in the public interest and contains specific protections in a range of policy areas, including for the Treaty of Waitangi.

As with all of New Zealand’s contemporary trade agreements since 2001, the CEP includes a specific provision preserving the pre-eminence of the Treaty of Waitangi in New Zealand.

Nothing in the CEP prevents the Crown from meeting its obligations to Māori and New Zealand’s interpretation of the Treaty of Waitangi will not be subject to dispute settlement.

Share your views

If you have an interest in the FTA, including any questions or feedback, we welcome you to submit this at any time by email or post:  

Email: FTA-Outreach@mfat.govt.nz

Post: HKC CEP FTA Coordinator
Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade
Private Bag 18-901 Wellington