Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, The Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and United Kingdom.
The European Union is the world’s largest economic entity. It is New Zealand’s third largest trading partner, with trade valued at over NZ$18.5 billion (goods and services) for the year ending June 2014. It is also NZ’s third largest export destination for trade in services (after Australia and the US) and one of our most significant science and innovation partners.
The relationship with Europe is a crucial one for New Zealand and it is growing steadily. Common shared values see NZ & EU working together as natural partners on many issues, bilaterally and internationally.
Shared cultural and political traditions, history of European migration and legacy of military sacrifice is central to New Zealand’s identity. NZ also cooperates with European partners in areas including international security, climate change, and development in the Pacific. With individual Member States, NZ participates in global institutions such as the WTO and the UN.
Strengthening trade and investment relationship or enhancing economic integration can only be delivered through a free trade agreement (FTA). New Zealand is one of only 6 WTO members (the others are Russia, China, Hong Kong China, Chinese Taipei and Australia) without a preferential access arrangement to the EU either concluded or under negotiation. Thus it is important to secure a comprehensive treaty-level partnership with the European Union that includes an FTA.
Prime Minister John Key, European Council President Herman Van Rompuy and European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso issued a Joint Declaration in 2014 in which they resolved to deepen EU–NZ relations further across all aspects of the relationship. In particular, it has been agreed to ‘reflect on options to progress the trade and economic relationship, including the parameters for the possible opening of negotiations to further liberalise trade and investment between the EU and New Zealand’.
The EU is ranked second after Australia for foreign direct investment (FDI) in New Zealand and third for NZ’s direct investment abroad (June 2014).
The EU accounts for around one-seventh of New Zealand’s trade. By contrast, New Zealand’s trade with China and ASEAN is more heavily weighted towards goods. The EU remains a significant market for high value agricultural goods, and is the number one market for sheepmeat and kiwi/pip fruits.
The EU and New Zealand have extremely useful sectoral agreements including animal products, science and technology, mutual recognition, and other areas.
Science and innovation
The EU is our most significant science and innovation partner with particularly strong links with the UK, Germany, and France. New Zealand’s science and innovation relationship with the European Union (cemented by the 2009 Science and Technology Cooperation Agreement) is a critical enabler of stronger links with Europe. New Zealand’s involvement in EU research programmes enable engagement with leading scientists and partner agencies from around the world.
Partners in the Pacific
The EU is one of New Zealand’s most important and active partners in the Pacific. The EU is a member of the Pacific Island Forum’s ‘Post-Forum Dialogue’ and participates in the annual EU/Australia/New Zealand Trilateral on Pacific issues.
The EU is New Zealand’s most important partner in the Pacific in the energy sector: we have a number of joint energy projects in Samoa, Kiribati, Cook Islands and Tuvalu. The Pacific Energy Summit (PES) was co-hosted by the EU and New Zealand at Auckland in March 2013 and resulted in NZ$635 million in donor commitments for renewable energy projects in the Pacific.
LAND AREA (EU28): 4,422,773 sq km
POPULATION (EU28): 507.4 million (January 2014)
LANGUAGE(S): 24 official languages
Political MEMBERS (EU28): Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, The Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, United Kingdom
INSTITUTIONS European Parliament, European Council, Council of the European Union, European Commission, Court of Justice of the European Union, European Central Bank, and the Court of Auditors
GDP: € 13,921 billion
REAL GDP GROWTH: 1.3%
EXPORTS: € 1,737billion
IMPORTS: € 1,682 billion
CURRENT ACCOUNT BALANCE: €43.8 billion (Q4, 2014)
AVERAGE INFLATION: 0.43%
New Zealand trade (year ending December 2014)
NEW ZEALAND EXPORTS (FOB): NZ$5 billion (third-largest export destination)
MAIN EXPORTS: Meat and edible offal (NZ$1.5 billion); wine (NZ$453 million); fruit not elsewhere classified (NZ$505 million); butter and dairy spreads (NZ$155 million).
NEW ZEALAND IMPORTS (CIF): NZ$8.5 billion
MAIN IMPORTS: Motor vehicles (NZ$1.1 billion); aircraft (NZ$608 million); retail medicines (NZ$370 million).
Source: Ministry of Foreign Affairs & Trade