Global Economic and Trade Update for New Zealand Businesses - 27 November 2020


We welcome feedback from New Zealand exporters on this report as we continue to refine its content. We also invite requests for reporting from New Zealand’s network of Embassies and High Commissions. Please direct any suggestions or feedback to

Domestic Update

Over the past two months the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) have been engaging with Pacific partner biosecurity agencies to reinstate export pathways for imports into New Zealand of watermelon from Tonga and Lime citrusfrom Vanuatu. MPI set out required changes to Tonga’s watermelon export pathway in order to reopen exports to New Zealand. Implementation of these corrective measures began last week and the reinstatement of the export pathway will be permitted when MPI can confirm that the appropriate steps have been taken. In Vanuatu, MPI and MALFFB are working together to finalise the steps that need to be taken in order to reinstate the lime citrus export pathway.

Regional updates


Japan’s GDP rose by an annualised 21.4% in the July-September quarter; the biggest jump since records began in 1980, and the first expansion of GDP in four quarters. The rebound in September falls short of offsetting the losses experienced in the April-June quarter during the national state of emergency declared to contain the COVID-19 outbreak. The International Monetary Fund predicts that Japan's economy will contract 5.3 percent this year before returning 2.3 percent growth in 2021. Despite the rebound in economic activity, New Zealand goods exports to Japan were down almost 11% in the July-September compared to the same period last year. Exports of metal products, forestry products and seafood decreased in particular, likely due to slowdowns in Japan’s manufacturing, construction and hospitality sectors.

Total two-way trade on goods between Taiwan and New Zealand for the year-ending September 2020 was up 2.85% yoy and worth a total NZ$2.128 billion. This is in large part due to the stellar growth seen in New Zealand exports to Taiwan in quarter one  (22.25%) and quarter 2 (15.16%). Quarter 3 growth was a more modest 2.72%.

Two-way goods trade with the Philippines for the year ending September 2020 was NZ$ 924 million, a decline of 7.07% from the same period last year. The Philippines has gradually adjusted its border settings, meaning some New Zealand contractors have been able to enter the Philippines.


The UK’s transition period from the EU will end on 31 December 2020, when it will leave the EU customs and single market. Information about how Brexit may affect New Zealanders, including exporters, can be found here.


From 23 November, Chile will allow foreign visitors to enter the country with a negative PCR test and travel insurance with COVID-19 coverage. 14 days self-isolation will be mandatory for visitors arriving between 23 November and 7 December from countries with community transmission. The change will allow more New Zealanders to enter Chile, however there are currently no direct air links between Auckland and Santiago.  Chile’s border has been closed to non-resident foreigners since March 2020, with some limited exceptions (e.g. diplomats; and since mid-October, spouses of Chilean nationals and foreign permanent residents). 

Market reports released this week

A report about opportunities in the United States Wine Sector is available here.

A third quarter economic update on the Philippines was prepared by the New Zealand Embassy in Manila is available here.

A summary report on NZTE’s 12 November Zoom webinar “Focus on Egypt – Business Talks” was prepared by the New Zealand Embassy in Cairo and is available here.

Last week’s global economic and trade update can be found 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 COVID-19 economic dashboard(external link), and Stats NZ has published a new 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.

To contact our Export Helpdesk


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. 


We use cookies and other tracking technologies to improve your browsing experience on our website, to analyze our website traffic, and to understand where our visitors are coming from. You can find out more information on our Privacy Page.