NZ-Thailand Closer Economic Partnership

New Zealand and Thailand are complementary economies, with Thailand exporting mainly manufactured goods to New Zealand, and New Zealand exporting agricultural goods and wood.

On this page

Thailand is one of New Zealand’s top 10 trading partners, with the total trade in goods between our countries reaching more than NZ$4 billion in 2023. Although the value of our exports to Thailand fluctuates from year to year, since the Closer Economic Partnership (CEP) came into force in 2005, total exports have tripled (as of 2023). New Zealand is now importing more than four times as much from Thailand as we did before the CEP.

The CEP is most relevant to businesses trading in goods and making investments. Services are not included yet but are covered in our other plurilateral FTAs that include Thailand, AANZFTA and RCEP.

In November 2011, a joint general review of the CEP found the agreement had created significant trade and economic benefits for both countries. The Joint Review also concluded that the CEP provides a sound platform from which to promote and develop bilateral merchandise trade, and to address any trade and economic matters arising from the bilateral trading relationship. A number of recommendations from the review, such as negotiations in the areas of services and government procurement, have been undertaken through negotiations in RCEP and the upgrade to the AANZFTA, to which both countries are parties.

Under the CEP, the final tariffs and quotas on New Zealand dairy imports into Thailand are set to be lifted from 1 January 2025. This will mark the 20th year of the CEP being in force and will signal the start of the next phase of the FTA.

Facts and figures

Thailand Population: 71.7 million (2022)

Thailand GDP: US$495 billion (2022)

Timeline: Negotiations began in June 2004, agreement signed in April 2005. The CEP came into force in July 2005.

New Zealand’s major exports to Thailand: Milk powder and other dairy products, apples, wood pulp.

New Zealand’s major imports from Thailand: motor vehicles, air conditioners and refrigerators, cell phones, plastics.

Agreement highlights

  • Tariffs and quotas on all New Zealand’s exports will be progressively eliminated by 2025. In 2023, 86.5% of our exports entered Thailand duty free, including all fisheries products, all forestry products, apples, buttermilk, wine, honey, butter fats and frozen potato chips.
  • Simplified Rules of Origin (ROO) for goods to qualify as tariff-free, including removing the requirement for a Certificate of Origin and replacing it with a declaration only.
  • Easier trading through agreed rules on: customs, sanitary and phytosanitary measures, technical barriers to trade, electronic commerce, intellectual property and competition policy.
  • More relaxed rules around temporary entry into Thailand for NZ business travellers.
  • Improved investment environment under the ‘national treatment’ principal that investors in each other’s countries be treated the same as local investors (with some restrictions).
  • A clear and detailed process to settle disputes related to the CEP.

Alongside the CEP, New Zealand and Thailand have signed a number of Arrangements, including on Labour and Environment, where both countries agree to ensure that their labour and environmental laws, regulations, policies and practices are in harmony with relevant international obligations.

Using the agreement

Businesses trading in goods

Read the Customs fact sheet for the NZ Thailand CEP Rules of Origin for Imports [PDF, 235 KB].

Service sector businesses

To date services are not included in the NZ Thailand CEP. Services trade with Thailand is covered in AANZFTA.


Use the MFAT Guide to the NZ-Thailand CEP [PDF, 982 KB] and chapter 9, page 44 of the CEP [PDF, 388 KB] to find out how the FTA helps investors.

Deciding which FTA to use

New Zealand has a number of FTAs with Thailand – AANZFTA which is between New Zealand, Australia and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), of which both New Zealand and Thailand are Parties. AANZFTA came into force in January 2010 and New Zealand has since signed an upgrade in 2023. RCEP entered into force on 1 January 2022. When doing business with Thailand – the Tariff Finder(external link) will help determine which FTA to utilise.

Media and resources

The National Interest Analysis was done before formal negotiation started, and shows the potential benefits of the CEP.


Tariff schedules in HS2012

Side letters to the Agreement


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