Germany and New Zealand: Bilateral relations

22.02.2024 - Article

Relations between Germany and New Zealand are based on shared interests and values. The two countries are often like-minded partners in international affairs, trade, research and cultural exchange and they cultivate their good relations with high-level visits.

The German-New Zealand Chamber of Commerce (GNZCC) in Auckland has been successfully promoting bilateral relations for 40 years now. New Zealand’s business community is represented in Germany by New Zealand Trade and Enterprise based in Hamburg. The German Asia‑Pacific Business Association in Hamburg has regular committee meetings on New Zealand.

Germany is New Zealand’s most important trading partner within the EU. New Zealand, in turn, ranked 62nd among Germany’s global trading partners in 2023 according to the Federal Statistical Office of Germany .

New Zealand’s principal exports to Germany are agricultural and forestry products, in particular mutton and game, fruit, dairy products and wool. Its main imports from Germany are motor vehicles, machinery and pharmaceutical products.

On 9 July 2023, the free trade agreement between New Zealand and the European Union was signed; it is expected to enter into force after being ratified by both sides in 2024.

Since 2000, the Working Holiday Programme between Germany and New Zealand has enabled young people to stay between one and twelve months to take up a vacation job. This offers them the opportunity to get to know the culture and everyday life of their host country. After a temporary suspension due to the pandemic, the programme started up again in March 2022. In former years, around 16,000 Germans took advantage of this opportunity each year. Cultural and academic relations are also good and substantial. Thanks to the work of the Goethe‑Institut and other cultural institutions, there is a vibrant exchange between the two countries. This includes numerous and wide-ranging academic cooperation arrangements between universities as well as collaboration on research.

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