Chinese Taipei is one of New Zealand’s top ten export destinations
In the year to December 2012 exports were worth NZ$828m. It is also an important source of imports, a significant tourism market and a source of investment. There is a large Taiwanese community in New Zealand and cultural links between the indigenous people of Chinese Taipei and Maori are growing. It was against this backdrop of growing social, economic and business interests, that ANZTEC was signed.
While New Zealand and Chinese Taipei do not have diplomatic relations, New Zealand’s one China policy allows the full pursuit of trade, economic and cultural links with Chinese Taipei. Accordingly, Chinese Taipei has for a number of years been an important market for New Zealand goods and services exporters. Its import regime, like a number of others in North Asia, was heavily protected against imports of agricultural, fisheries and forestry products.
Major liberalisation occurred in 2001 when Chinese Taipei joined the WTO as the Separate Customs Territory of Taiwan, Penghu, Kinmen and Matsu (Chinese Taipei). Over the years considerable work has been done analysing the potential impact of a bilateral trade liberalisation agreement and assessing potential interest in such an agreement from the Chinese Taipei authorities. In the meantime New Zealand has negotiated a Free Trade Agreement with China and a Closer Economic Partnership with Hong Kong.
Negotiations on ANZTEC commenced in May 2012 following the completion of independent Feasibility Studies and a Joint Study by the New Zealand Commerce and Industry Office in Taipei and the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Wellington. These studies concluded that a high quality economic cooperation agreement (ECA) between the two parties was feasible, and would bring significant benefits to both sides.
ANZTEC was signed in Wellington on 10 July 2013 and entered into force on 1 December 2013.