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- On 4 October, the Government announced updated alert level settings for New Zealand. The government has maintained the COVID-19 alert level settings outside Auckland at Alert Level 2. There have been some minor changes to the Alert Level 2 settings relating to seated indoor venues, guidance is available here(external link). The Auckland Region will stay at Alert Level 3 but at 11:59pm on Tuesday the 5th of October there will be some changes to controls, which can be found here(external link). These will be reviewed every Monday with a view to steadily and safely changing restrictions. The Wage Subsidy(external link) will continue to be available under the current settings.
- On 3 October, the Minister for COVID-19 Response Hon Chris Hipkins announced(external link) that full COVID-19 vaccination will be a requirement for non-New Zealand citizens arriving into the country from 11:59pm on 31 October. This new measure is in addition to pre-departure testing and MIQ. It seeks to reduce the risk of COVID-19 entering via the air border, and of subsequent transmission into the community. Further information can be found here(external link). Air New Zealand announced on 3 October that it will introduce ‘no jab, no fly’ for all international travellers from 1 February 2022. It will apply to everyone on board – employees and customers aged 18 and above. Customers who are not vaccinated will be required to present proof that vaccination was not a viable option for them for medical reasons.
- On 27 September, the Government announced a self-isolation pilot that will open in October for New Zealand-based business people going on short term travel overseas. Expressions of interest are open for applications from 9:00am Thursday 30 September until 5:00pm Saturday 9 October. Further information can be found here(external link).
- The all of government Trade Barriers website(external link) was relaunched on 4 October. This website 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.
Australia and the Pacific
- On 1 October, Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced(external link) that Australia will begin to reopen its international borders from November for states and territories that are 80% vaccinated, starting with New South Wales. Under the plan, vaccinated Australian citizens and permanent residents (PRs) returning to Australia will be able to undertake 7-day, home-based quarantine instead of 14-day mandatory hotel quarantine. Australia’s exit ban, which has been in place since March 2020, will also be lifted for vaccinated Australian citizens and PRs. There is no current exit ban for Australian citizens and PRs to travel to New Zealand. This was lifted when quarantine free travel (QFT) with New Zealand began, has not been reinstated despite the current pause of QFT. PM Morrison noted that Australia would “also work towards completely quarantine‑free travel for certain countries, such as New Zealand, when it is safe to do so.
- American Sāmoa has reported two more cases of COVID-19 at the border in returning residents from Hawaii bringing the total number of positive cases to three. Sāmoa’s Ministry of Health (SMOH) had sought this information and until such time as the variant is confirmed to be Delta, Sāmoa has suspended indefinitely all flights between the two Sāmoas.
- US Trade Representative Katherine Tai delivered a 20-minute speech(external link) (accompanying fact sheet here(external link)) on 4 October to the Centre of Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) entitled “The Biden-Harris Administration’s New Approach to the US–China Trade Relationship."
- The ongoing impact of the pandemic continues to be felt as bottlenecks with global supply chains, impact the US economy. There are record breaking backlogs at ports particularly the Port of Los Angeles. In some cases, shipping costs have almost doubled and these blockages are creating shortages of many goods, from furniture to cars.
- The US is experiencing significant labour shortages, especially in the leisure and entertainment sector. At its peak, there were over 10 million job openings, with more than 8.4 million people unemployed and actively looking for work. Indicating a mismatch between the jobs on offer and the jobs that workers want.
- The Mexican Secretary of the Economy has announced that Mexico and the United States are working together under the framework of the Mexico-United States High Level Economic Dialogue to address supply chain issues of mutual interest. This includes repositioning production chains for products such as semiconductors, pharmaceutical products, medicines, automotive products, minerals and aerospace goods; and integrating small and medium enterprises further into supply chains.
- New Zealand, Chile and Canada welcomed(external link) Mexico as the newest member of the Inclusive Trade Action Group (ITAG) and signatory of the Group’s Global Trade and Gender Arrangement (GTAGA) at an event in Paris on October 6. Mexico is now the fourth participant of this ground-breaking arrangement that aims to promote women’s involvement in trade as part of broader efforts to promote women’s economic empowerment.
- Argentina will resume beef exports to China from 4 October. The announcement, made by incoming Agriculture Minister Julián Domínguez, came after he met with the leaders of the country’s four main agricultural groups on 29 September. An export ban on seven cuts of beef will remain in place. According to Minister Domínguez this is to ensure domestic supply.
- On 28 September, Bodegas de Argentina, representing the country's major wine producers, alerted the government about a shortage of glass bottles and requested that glass bottles be exempted from import tariffs. The bottle shortage was aggravated by a fire at the Verallia glass production plant, which produces 70% of glass bottles for wine exports. According to private estimates, the shortage could be around 40 million bottles.
- On 21 September, incoming Cabinet Chief Juan Manzur announced that from 24 September, fully vaccinated citizens, residents and foreign business travellers arriving in Argentina would not be required to self-isolate, so long as they were fully vaccinated at least 14 days prior to arrival. In addition, vaccinated travellers from neighbouring countries would be permitted to enter Argentina without being required to self-isolate from 1 October. From 1 November, the same rules will be extended to all foreigners. Foreigners will have the option of showing either a vaccination schedule completed at least 14 days prior to arrival, a negative PCR test from no more than three days prior to departure, or taking an antigen test upon entering Argentina. Unvaccinated travellers will still need to self-isolate and take a PCR test between days 5 and 7 of their entry.
- Cruise ships have been given the green light to enter four Ecuadoran ports as long as passengers abide by strict bio-security protocols and are vaccinated. The ports are Guayaquil, Manta, Puerto Bolivar and Esmeraldas. Additionally, passengers need to fill out a Health Declaration before disembarking.
Market reports released this week
- The previous global economic and trade update can be found here.
- A China Market Update: Mid-year 2021 was prepared by the New Zealand Embassy in Beijing.
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.
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.