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- A new border exception for Pacific RSE workers will enable 150 workers to enter New Zealand every 16 days, between July and March 2022. Similar conditions to the previous exception will apply, though the requirement for only experienced workers to participate has been removed, and an explicit condition that only low risk COVID countries can participate is now included.
- From Monday 10 May 2021, the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment will be accepting applications under the new Time Sensitive Travel Allocation(external link). The objective of this allocation is to facilitate entry into Managed Isolation and Quarantine (MIQ) for travellers who need to enter New Zealand to undertake critical work that is time sensitive in New Zealand or parts of the Pacific, or that is time sensitive and potentially impacts New Zealand’s national security, international obligations, or international relations. The Time Sensitive Travel Allocation is primarily for pre-planned travel that is time-sensitive and where there would be detrimental (social, economical, environmental or political) impacts if the traveller/s cannot be allocated an MIQ slot on the dates requested. Very few time sensitive travel allocation requests will be granted, so travellers are encouraged to book in early to the Managed Isolation Allocation System as it is the most effective way to guarantee their place.
- New Zealand Government will not pause quarantine-free travel from Victoria to New Zealand following the identification of a community case in Melbourne. This decision may change as further information becomes available. Further public updates can be found on the New Zealand Unite Against COVID-19 webpage(external link).
Australia and the Pacific
- The 2021 Australian Budget has prioritised greater support for resilient supply chains. Treasurer Josh Frydenberg announced that $98.8 million would be spent over four years to establish an Office of Supply Chain Resilience that would monitor and coordinate existing initiatives to boost supply chains resilience, as well as to implement other Government policy priorities. It is part of a package of support for exporters that also seeks to support market diversification, Australia’s contributions to the WTO and Indo-Pacific collaboration.
- Industry body Wine Australia has reported a 96% drop in the value of their exports to China, falling from A$324 million between December 2019 - March 2020 to A$12 million during the same period this year. The decline in exports has been largely attributed to the tariffs of up to 212% that Chinese authorities placed on bottled products from Australia in November 2020. In March, Chinese authorities confirmed the extension of the tariffs for another five years.
- Prime Minister Ardern delivered a speech to the China Business Summit in Auckland on Monday 3 May. The speech is on the Beehive website, linked here(external link).
- India and the European Union (EU) have agreed(external link) to resume trade negotiations, announced(external link) during a virtual India-EU Leaders’ Meeting on 8 May.
- In what will be the first international trip by a New Zealand Minister since the pandemic began, yesterday (13 May) Minister O’Connor announced(external link) plans to travel to London and Brussels to progress the UK and EU Free Trade Agreement (FTA) negotiations in person. This recent announcement followed a conversation between Minister O’Connor and his UK Trade counterpart, Liz Truss, where they agreed to intensify New Zealand-UK FTA negotiations with a view to working toward agreement in the coming months (see here for Ministerial statement(external link)). Negotiators are working on a forward plan with the UK that will allow parties to meet this ambitious objective. This includes reinforcing the key areas where progress needs to be made, including on agricultural market access. Round 5 has been scheduled for early June, with round 6 in July.
- An impact assessment (available here(external link), in German only) commissioned by the German Federal Government further supports the proposal to transform animal production in Germany towards improved animal welfare standards, through generating funding through a VAT increase (from 7 to 19%) or an animal welfare levy to compensate German farms for meeting higher animal welfare standards.
- The Slovak government submitted to the European Commission on 29 April its national recovery plan, which will be funded from the EU's €750 billion recovery fund package. Of the €6 billion Slovakia will receive, €2.3 billion will be spent on ‘green’ economic transition initiatives, €1.5 billion on healthcare measures and the remainder on digitalisation of public administration, innovation, education and science.
- The Slovenian government is set to unveil another stimulus package for the tourism, hospitality and events industries, which will extend subsidies, income support and fixed costs compensation to the end of 2021. It will also draw on €1.8 billion of its share of grants from the EU's €750 billion recovery fund package and €666 million in loans to fund its national recovery plan. Like Slovakia, Slovenia will also spend much of this money on a ‘green’ transition, digital transformation and health and social security spending.
- On 5 May, the United States Trade Representative announced(external link) US support for the waiver of intellectual property protections for COVID-19 vaccines. The statement indicates that the US will actively participate in the text-based discussions within the WTO to allow for such a waiver. New Zealand has also announced(external link) its support for the waiver of intellectual property protections for COVID-19 vaccines in response to the human catastrophe of the pandemic.
- The Special Agricultural Trade Envoy (SATE), Mel Poulton, hosted an agricultural field visit to Wairarapa farms on 15-16 April for the New Zealand-based Latin American diplomatic corps. The two-day programme featured visits to four agricultural sites: an arable farm, a sheep and beef farm, a dairy farm, and a vineyard. The visit was an opportunity to showcase the New Zealand agricultural sector as a partner to Latin American markets, and to spotlight New Zealand sustainable farming systems, agritech and farming best practice.
- On Tuesday 4 May, the Foreign Affairs Commission of the Chilean Congress’ Chamber of Deputies recommended in a unanimous (12-0) vote the ratification of the Digital Economy Partnership Agreement(external link) (DEPA). Attending the session on behalf of Foreign Minister Allamand, Vice-Minister of Trade Rodrigo Yáñez stated “DEPA represents a modernising landmark in Chilean trade policy, because it is a pioneer in dealing with digital issues exclusively. This comes at a time of considerable disruption to international trade and value chains because of the pandemic, and represents a new way of economic insertion in the digital age, key for economic reactivation.” If approved by the Chamber of Deputies, DEPA’s ratification process would then move to the Senate.
Middle East and Africa
- As of 15 May, Türkiye is lifting the requirement for a negative PCR result for passengers arriving from Hong Kong, China, Taiwan, Vietnam, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Thailand, South Korea, Israel, Japan, United Kingdom, Latvia, Luxembourg, Ukraine and Estonia. Passengers from other destinations are still required to produce a negative PCR test result. All passengers must still complete an entry form prior to their arrival into Türkiye: http://register.health.gov.tr(external link).
Market reports released this week
- The previous global economic and trade update can be found here(external link).
- An April 2021 market update on China was prepared by the New Zealand Embassy in Beijing and can be found here(external link).
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.
- Business.govt.nz(external 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.