Last reviewed 22 June 2020

Described by International Trade Secretary Liz Truss as an exciting new chapter in the relationship between the two countries, formal negotiations have opened on a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between the UK and New Zealand.

“New Zealand is one of the world’s most progressive trading nations,” she said. “Together, we can break new ground in trade policy and help set new global standards, and in doing so position both our countries as leaders in the debate about how to grow and advance international commerce.”

According to the Department for International Trade (DIT), the proposed FTA will serve as a framework for an even stronger economic partnership as the UK seeks to expand its already close relationships in the Asia-Pacific region.

For its part, New Zealand, as a leading member of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), said that it welcomed the UK’s intention to join the Partnership.

The first round of UK-New Zealand FTA negotiations will begin on 13 July although the meeting will have to take place by video-conferencing.

New Zealand Trade Minister David Parker said: “We are looking forward to getting down to business quickly with the UK to forge a world-leading bilateral agreement that not only opens doors for our businesses to trade, invest and innovate more together, but also demonstrates our commitment to inclusive and sustainable trade.”

The two sides said that the agreement should open up the opportunities of trade to all parts of their economies and society, including for women-led businesses and entrepreneurs, as well as for Māori economic interests in the case of New Zealand.

See https://www.gov.uk/government/news/liz-truss-kick-starts-trade-negotiations-with-australia-and-new-zealand for details of the UK’s negotiating objectives with New Zealand.