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- On 28 October, Minister for COVID-19 Response Hon Chris Hipkins announced(external link) that the Government is starting a phased easing of border restrictions that will see the time spent in an MIQ facility halved to seven days for overseas arrivals from 14 November, followed by isolation at home until receiving a negative result on a day nine COVID test. Furthermore, home isolation in place of MIQ will be introduced for increasing numbers of travellers in the first quarter of 2022. In addition, eligibility for one-way quarantine-free travel (QFT) from Samoa, Tokelau, Tonga and Vanuatu will be expanded from 8 November 2021 to include people who have the right to reside permanently in New Zealand (citizens and residents and Australians) and those covered by existing border exceptions, including critical health workers and those entering for a humanitarian reason such as medical transfers.
- On 22 October, the Prime Minister announced(external link) a new COVID-19 Protection Framework (CPF) for New Zealand. This framework will in time replace the current four tier alert level system and incorporates the possibilities presented by a highly vaccinated population. The CPF will be used to minimise, contain and control outbreaks, and the spread of COVID-19. The CPF will have three levels, and at all of them businesses, retail, public facilities and schools will generally be able to remain open for vaccinated people. New Zealand as a whole will transition to the orange level of the CPF when 90% of the eligible population in each District Health Board (DHB) area is fully vaccinated (two doses of the Pfizer vaccine).
- The Deputy Prime Minister Hon Grant Robertson also announced(external link) a number of additional economic support measures totalling $940 million per fortnight to support business, particularly those in Auckland, through this challenging period. The economic support includes an enhanced business support package, a new fund for business advice and mental health services, and a lifted income limit(external link) on income support payments for individuals. Cabinet will consider further economic support packages in the coming weeks.
Global & Multilateral Updates
- The United States will terminate the currently-suspended additional duties on goods of Austria, France, Italy, Spain, and the United Kingdom that had been adopted in the Digital Service Tax (DST) Section 301 Trade Act investigations, following a deal(external link) announced on 21 October. The five European countries will maintain their digital services taxes until Pillar One of the recently announced(external link) OECD agreement to update the international tax framework, is implemented.
Australia and the Pacific
- Australia has announced plans to set up a travel bubble with Singapore that will allow quarantine-free flights to start from November. The Australia-Singapore bubble for fully vaccinated travellers could be in place by 23 November (when Qantas is expected to resume its flights to Singapore) and would initially apply to international students and business travellers. Tourists are anticipated to be allowed to enter Australia from December onwards.
- On 26 October, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced(external link) Australia would adopt a whole of economy 2050 net zero target and released(external link) a Long-Term Emissions Reduction Plan that largely relies on investments in low emissions technology to achieve it.
- On 14 October the Philippines announced a new border policy, removing border restrictions which had limited entry to the Philippines to Filipinos and their family members, diplomats, and persons with existing visas who could obtain additional approvals. Countries are assigned “green”, “orange”, or “red” COVID-19 risk ratings. Fully vaccinated travellers from countries with “green” risk ratings, including New Zealand, are exempt from quarantine upon presentation of a negative RT-PCR test taken within 72 hours prior to departure.
- In response to global shipping delays, Singapore is positioning itself as a “catch-up port” and working to help vessels make up for delays along other parts of the supply chain. The partially built but not-yet operational Tuas Port has been designated a free trade zone, and opened its yards to add 2,000 TEUs (20-foot equivalent units) of capacity to further facilitate the movement and storage of goods. Beyond ramping up port operations, Singapore is expediting the movement of more critical materials, including semiconductors, while working with SMEs to make sure cargo flows from China to Singapore stay punctual enough to meet project deadlines. The Port of Singapore has also been examining other joints along the supply network, and providing data and advice to shipping companies and cargo owners on how to plan their routes better.
Market reports released this week
- The previous global economic and trade update can be found here.
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.
- 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.
- The all of government Trade Barriers website(external link) can be used to register any trade barriers experienced or issues exporting to an offshore market. Queries can be sent via the website or through the MFAT Exporter Helpline 0800 824 605. Enquiries will be sent to the government agency best placed to answer.
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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.