NZ-Malaysia Free Trade Agreement

Malaysia is our tenth largest goods trading partner and our third largest export market in South East Asia. Two-way trade in goods was more than NZ$4.8 billion in 2023.

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New Zealand also exports a range of high-value services to Malaysia, such as education (6th largest market), tourism (with travel worth over NZ$170 million in 2023), and information and computer technology

New Zealand is a safe and trusted supplier of high-quality food for Malaysia and the wider region, while Malaysia is a reliable supplier of agricultural inputs and machinery for New Zealand.

Malaysia and New Zealand are committed to a strong bilateral and regional trade architecture. Our various bilateral and regional arrangements collectively provide tools and new opportunities for businesses in both countries.

With Malaysia’s large population and it's likely transition to a high-income economy between 2024 and 2028, there is plenty of opportunity for growth, and our bliateral free trade agreement is helping pave the way. The agreement has been complemented by subsequent commitments made by Malaysia and New Zealand in the Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), the ASEAN-Australia-New Zealand Free Trade Agreement (AANZFTA) upgrade and the Indo Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF).

In May 2023, we signed the Strategic Partnership between New Zealand and Malaysia. This highlighted Malaysia and New Zealand’s commitment to maintaining high trade standards; being fully compliant with international trade rules; and ensuring the progressive removal of barriers to trade. This includes ongoing bilateral dialogue, and constructive engagement in economic fora.

Facts and figures

Malaysia Population: 33 million (2023)

Malaysia GDP: US$421billion (2023)

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

New Zealand’s major exports to Malaysia:

  • Dairy
  • travel
  • malt extract
  • sheep
  • beef meat

New Zealand’s major imports from Malaysia:

  • Mineral fuels and oils
  • electrical machinery and equipment
  • mechanical machinery

Agreement highlights

  • Tariffs on 99.5% of New Zealand’s exports to Malaysia were eliminated on 1 January 2016 and as of 2024, 99.8% of New Zealand exports enter Malaysia duty-free.  The remaining tariffs are to be removed under CPTPP by 2033.
  • 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. Additionally, the respective Qualifications Authorities from New Zealand and Malaysia have signed a Cooperation Arrangement that builds on previous areas on cooperation and allows greater flexibility in the recognition of qualifications project.

Using the FTA

Businesses trading in goods

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

  • the tariff classification for the good
  • the tariff commitments
  • the Rules of Origin (ROO)
  • how to get a Declaration of Origin

Read the Customs fact sheet below for the NZ-Malaysia FTA Rules of Origin #44.

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

Read an overview of what the FTA means for services in chapter nine of the MFAT Guide to the Agreement.


Use the MFAT Guide to the Agreement  and chapter ten of the FTA to find how the FTA helps investors.

Deciding which FTA to use

New Zealand has three other trade agreements with Malaysia – AANZFTA, RCEP, and CPTPP. The Tariff Finder(external link) will help you decide which one to use, but there are other factors such as transhipment/routing requirements that should also be considered.

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.

Other Instruments

National Interests Analysis study was done before formal negotiation started, and shows the potential benefits of the FTA.

Tariff schedules in HS2012

2016 General Review of the FTA

Amendment to MNZFTA

On 6 August 2020 Malaysia and New Zealand completed an Exchange of Letters to amend Article 1 of Annex 3 of the Malaysia New Zealand Free Trade Agreement. The amendment to Annex 3 entered into force on 1 October 2020. The amended article is linked below.


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