On 28 February 2022, the Government signed the UK-New Zealand free trade agreement. The deal deepens the special bonds of friendship between two like-minded democracies and reflects our commitment to free and fair trade as a powerful force for good.
It is the second free trade agreement negotiated “from scratch” since the UK left the European Union and, alongside the deal signed with Australia, contributes to the UK’s ambitions in the fast-growing Asia-Pacific region. New Zealand supports our bid to join the comprehensive and progressive agreement for trans-Pacific partnership—CPTPP—which includes economies with a joint GDP of £8.4 trillion in 2020.
This agreement delivers the benefits of trade to people, businesses and communities based across the United Kingdom, helping level up our country. The UK-New Zealand trade relationship was worth £2.3 billion in 2020. The agreement is expected to significantly increase this—it is expected to increase bilateral trade by almost 60%, boosting the economy by £800 million and increasing wages across the UK in the long run.
It breaks new ground in areas such as gender equality and consumer protection—with a focus on promoting the interests of small and medium-sized enterprises across the agreement. The deal also includes an ambitious environment chapter that sets new precedents and reinforces our commitments to the Paris agreement and our efforts to meet net zero. Finally, it also reflects our countries’ unique relationship, and the importance for New Zealand of protecting and advancing Māori interests.
The UK Government have published an unnumbered Command Paper titled “Informational Copy of the UK-New Zealand Free Trade Agreement and associated documents, including the Impact Assessment and draft Explanatory Memorandum”. Copies of these have been placed in the Libraries of both Houses.