New Zealand’s ASEAN FTA: Call for submissions

We want to hear from you about how well the ASEAN Australia New Zealand Free Trade Agreement has been working and what could be done to maximise its benefits for New Zealand businesses.

In 2017 the Governments of New Zealand, Australia and the ten countries that make up the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) will launch a comprehensive review of the ASEAN Australia New Zealand Free Trade Agreement (AANZFTA).

Ahead of this, we want to hear from you about how well the agreement has been working and what could be done to maximise its benefits for NZ businesses.

The 12 countries covered by AANZFTA are home to 600 million people, with a combined economic output of USD 2.65 trillion.

The introduction of more liberal and transparent trade rules have helped to grow New Zealand’s trade with ASEAN from around $12 billion in 2010 to over $15 billion in 2015.

The Government would like to use the upcoming review to ensure AANZFTA is working as hard for New Zealand businesses as it could.

As part of this, we have the opportunity to update, improve or expand the scope of the agreement if needed.

Why AANZFTA is being reviewed

AANZFTA entered into force for New Zealand in 2010.

When it was signed, the 12 parties to the agreement envisaged that AANZFTA would be a ‘living document’, able to respond to changing business needs and the evolving regional economic situation.

There have been a number of important developments since 2010: The Trans Pacific Partnership was concluded, negotiations towards the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership progressed, and the ASEAN Economic Community was launched.

The Government would like to use the review to ensure AANZFTA is benefiting New Zealand businesses.

The full Terms of Reference for the review can be found here [PDF, 113 KB]

Why your submission is important

Your submission will help ensure the Government has a thorough understanding of the issues that matter to New Zealand companies doing business in South East Asia.

It will help inform the Government’s approach to the review and allow us to safeguard and enhance New Zealand’s key economic interests in the region.

Who we want submissions from

We would like to hear from New Zealand businesses that are doing business with or in South East Asian countries, including those who are:

  • Exporting or importing goods
  • Supplying or receiving services
  • Investing in the region or receiving investments from the region

In particular, we are interested in getting the views of companies using AANZFTA or that might use AANZFTA in the future.

We would also like the views of groups or individuals who have a more general interest in New Zealand’s economic relationship with South East Asia.

How your submission will be used

All submissions will be treated as commercial-in-confidence and not shared outside the Government without your permission.

Please ensure you identify any issues that you would prefer to discuss with MFAT officials, rather than including in your submission.

Questions to consider

The following questions may help guide the content of your submission.

They highlight the sort of information we are interested in, but you should not feel limited by them. Please include anything else you think is relevant.

  • What sector(s) does your business operate in?
  • Which countries in South East Asia do you export to or invest in?
  • Which countries in South East Asia do you receive imports or investments from?
  • What proportion of your exports go to countries in South East Asia?
  • What sort of presence do you have in South East Asia (e.g. sales office, full subsidiary)?
  • Are the goods or services you export or import part of a ‘supply chain’ that crosses borders? What obstacles to you face in participating in cross-border supply chains?
  • Do you export under AANZFTA, or another FTA with South East Asia (i.e. Malaysia-NZ FTA or the Thai-New Zealand Closer Economic Partnership)? What factors contributed to your decision?
  • What benefit, if any, has AANZFTA had on your business?
  • How could we make AANZFTA easier to use or more relevant to your business?
  • What are the biggest impediments to growing your business in South East Asia (e.g. tariffs, standards and conformance issues, regulations)?
  • What areas of regulation are the most challenging for your business?
  • What sort of advantages do you think your international competitors have in the markets you operate in? What would help give you the edge?

How to make a submission

We will accept written submissions in no particular format.

We would also be happy to speak to you in person should you wish to make an oral submission.

Email your submission or meeting request to


AANZFTA Desk Officer

Trade Negotiations Division

Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade

Private Bag 18-901


Deadline for submissions

Send your submission no later than Friday 2 December 2016.