International Trade

Changes to New Zealand Export Certificates and Official Seals and Devices.

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New Zealand’s economic well-being is dependent on our ability to sell our products on the international market. The Ministry for Primary Industries plays a significant role in enabling international market access for New Zealand’s agriculture, food, forestry and related products, and representing the interests of the New Zealand primary sector in international trade policy and standard-setting forums.

A number of groups within MPI work to maintain and enhance New Zealand’s access to international markets: from trade negotiators to experts in trade policy and sanitary/phytosanitary and related standards. Our International Policy Group has the overarching objective of trade liberalisation for the benefit of New Zealand’s agricultural and forestry exports. This objective includes cutting trade-distorting subsidies, gaining and improving market access through reducing both tariffs and non-tariff barriers.

Our programme of work also includes negotiation of effective and least trade restrictive sanitary and phytosanitary standards, which underpin trade in animals, plants, and their products.

MPI has a comprehensive understanding of New Zealand’s international commitments, as well as specialist expertise in trade economics and conducting negotiations. We work very closely with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT) to ensure a coordinated international effort.

MPI's activities include:

  • developing analysis and strategy toward bilateral, regional, and multilateral trade negotiations – in particular:
    • developing positions for the current Doha Round of negotiations in the World Trade Organisation (WTO),
    • contributing to the negotiation and prioritisation of closer economic partnerships and free trade agreements,
    • identifying barriers to exports in New Zealand’s priority agricultural and forestry export markets, and
    • fending off threats to existing market access and negotiating new and improved opportunities;
  • advocating trade liberalisation;
  • advocating science-based risk assessment to manage the human, animal and plant health risks associated with international movement of goods;
  • representing New Zealand positions at international and plurilateral organisations;
  • monitoring key countries’ agriculture, forestry, and trade policies and importing requirements;
  • providing policy advice on trade issues and on international trade aspects of domestic policy issues;
  • contributing to positive relations with key trading partners; and
  • advising on the implementation of international agreements, including inputs into WTO dispute settlement cases.

Free trade agreements

For detail on free trade agreements, visit Trade Relationships and Agreements on the MFAT website.


International Trade Statistics information 

For information on New Zealand imports and exports visit the Statistics New Zealand website

Related Links


Last Updated: 28 February 2013

Contact MPI

for general enquiries phone

0800 00 83 33