Global Economic and Trade Update for New Zealand Businesses - 13 August 2021

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Domestic Updates

  • The New Zealand Government’s framework for re-opening borders and moving to an individualised risk-based model for quarantine-free travel was unveiled at a forum on Reconnecting New Zealanders to the World in Wellington on 12 August. The release of the plan followed the publication of Sir David Skegg’s Strategic COVID-19 Public Health Advisory Group’s advice to Government on Wednesday. Low-Risk, Medium-Risk and High-Risk travel pathways will be created, and which pathway a traveller takes will be based on the risk associated with where they are coming from and their vaccination status. The full press release can be read here(external link).

Global & Multilateral Updates

  • Minister for Trade and Export Growth Hon Damien O’Connor will chair the sixth Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Food Security Ministerial meeting on 19 August. Minister for Food Safety Hon Ayesha Verrall will attend for New Zealand. As the world continues to grapple with food insecurity created by COVID-19, Ministers will discuss how the region can build resilience, productivity and economic development in the region’s food system, including by harnessing digitalisation and innovation. Ministers will launch a new APEC Food Security Roadmap towards 2030, which focusses on concrete work APEC economies can do to support inclusive, sustainable, innovative, and productive outcomes.
  • The UN Food Systems Pre-Summit took place in hybrid format from 26-28 July from the FAO Headquarters in Rome.  With more than 22,000 participants from 183 countries, including 120 “high level government representatives”, as well as a number of agri-food leaders and celebrities, the meeting was successful in focusing high-level attention on food systems challenges. New Zealand’s core substantive messages were set out in Minister O’Connor’s pre-recorded statement(external link). The statement emphasised the role of well-functioning international markets in global food security, and stressed the importance of indigenous leadership, biodiversity and national frameworks and tools for reducing greenhouse gas emissions from the agricultural sector. The statement also set out New Zealand’s national pathway towards more healthy and sustainable food systems.
  • Round Six of the Agreement on Climate Change, Trade and Sustainability (ACCTS) negotiations will commence on 19 August and conclude in mid-September. The participating economies – New Zealand, Costa Rica, Fiji, Iceland, Norway and Switzerland continue to make substantive progress across the four pillars of the ACCTS (environmental goods; environmental services; guidelines for voluntary eco-labelling and disciplines on harmful fossil fuel subsidies).  The consensus environmental goods list has expanded to over 90 items, comprised largely of industrial environmental goods, intermediary inputs for generating renewable energy, recycling equipment, biological conservation-related products and environmentally efficient products.

Regional Updates

Australia and the Pacific

  • Solomon Islands remains COVID-19 free and has not reported any cases at the border since early April. Concern over the risks posed by the delta variant are driving a re-fresh of Solomon Island Government’s planning and preparedness and all inwards passenger movements by air and by ship are suspended until further notice.


  • The Biden Administration has proposed detailed changes to “Buy American” rules including increasing US content in products procured by the federal government. The Notice of Proposed Rulemaking(external link) would immediately increase the required US content for a product to be considered “domestic”, apply enhanced price preferences for critical goods, and increase reporting requirements for suppliers. There is now a 60-day consultation period before the Administration finalises the rules.
  • The Canadian border opened to non-essential travel for fully vaccinated individuals from the United States on 9 August, after being closed for more than 16 months. This permits quarantine-free entry into Canada for those who have received a negative COVID-19 test and have proof of full vaccination at least 14 days prior to entry. Children up to the age of 12 are exempt from the requirement to be vaccinated. The US announced(external link) that it will extend restrictions on non-essential travel into the US via its land borders until at least 21 August.
  • The Chilean Senate overwhelmingly passed legislation on the Digital Economy Partnership Agreement (DEPA) on 3 August, completing the ratification process in Congress. In a tweet Vice-Minister of Trade Rodrigo Yáñez described this as a “great leap in [Chile’s] trade policy, with new and unprecedented tools to take advantage of the opportunities of the digital economy.” DEPA is an initiative with Chile and Singapore designed to help establish new rules and practices for digital trade, and promote ongoing discussion on issues like digital inclusion, inclusive trade and support for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in the digital economy.
  • The Argentine beef promotion institute (IPCVA) has reported that beef export volumes fell by 45% in June, following export restrictions put in place by the government on 17 May. China remained the main destination market for beef, receiving 77% of the total volume exported.

Market reports released this week

  • The previous global economic and trade update can be found here.
  • A report on the New Zealand and Singapore Arrangement on low-carbon hydrogen was prepared by the New Zealand Embassy in Singapore here.
  • A report on opportunities for New Zealand products in Cambodia, prepared by the New Zealand Embassy in Bangkok has been published here.
  • A report on the European Union’s proposal for a carbon border adjustment mechanism can be read here.

External links

The following links may provide useful information to businesses:

  • NZTE(external link) has a website focused on providing COVID-19 information for exporters. They’ve also launched myNZTE(external link), an interactive digital portal of insights and tools available to all New Zealand exporters.
  • The Treasury releases a weekly economic update(external link) every Friday. Stats NZ has published a data portal(external link) with near real-time economic indicators.
  • MBIE publishes a sector reports series(external link) which provides regularly updated reports on all industry sectors that make up the New Zealand economy. These include official economic data and the challenges and opportunities that face New Zealand’s industry sectors.
  • link) provides tools and advice from across government to save small businesses’ time and help make the business a success.
  • MFAT has created a tariff finder(external link) which is designed to help goods exporters and importers maximise benefits from New Zealand’s Free Trade Agreements and compare tariffs in 136 other markets.

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This information released in this report aligns with the provisions of the Official Information Act 1982. The opinions and analysis expressed in this report are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the views or official policy position of the New Zealand Government. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade and the New Zealand Government take no responsibility for the accuracy of this report.


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