Market access & trade development

MPI works to improve overseas market access for exporters, reduce trade barriers, and maintain the confidence of New Zealand's trading partners. Find out more about how we help maximise export opportunities.

Maximising exports, reducing trade barriers

MPI's market access team leads international market access activities for New Zealand's primary products and food. The team, in partnership with primary industry sectors, helps:

  • develop clear and measurable market access strategies
  • maximise export opportunities
  • achieve the outcomes of MPI's 'Our Strategy 2030'.

Part of the work involves reducing barriers to trade by influencing international trade frameworks and international standards. MPI is also responsible for documenting overseas market access requirements (OMARs) and guidance documents provided for information (FYIs).  

Safeguarding New Zealand's trade reputation

MPI maintains government-to-government 'competent authority' relationships and functions. (A competent authority is a government agency responsible for the regulation of industries whose products may have human, animal, or plant health issues.) MPI's work helps safeguard New Zealand's trade reputation by maintaining the confidence of our trading partners. This involves regular contact with key overseas counterparts and handling market access issues and trade responses.

Market access staff build on MPI's robust primary production, food safety, and biosecurity systems for our assurances to trading partners that our products are safe and suitable. This promotion contributes to growing New Zealand's exports and economic prosperity.

Our laboratories also play a role in trade assurance.

Sanitary and phytosanitary contacts

The market access team is the focal point for MPI's sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) government-to-government functions. This can involve leading negotiation of SPS measures and related import and export conditions and assurance systems. Staff work closely with other MPI teams to ensure all SPS functions and assurances are aligned, to secure and enhance New Zealand's reputation as a reliable supplier from its primary industries.  

Negotiating free trade agreements

MPI contributes to the negotiation and implementation of free trade agreements (FTAs). An important part of this work is setting up frameworks that simplify SPS measures and clearance procedures. FTAs can also include the development and implementation of cooperation programmes, which provide opportunities to exchange and share information with other countries and work with them on agreed programmes.

China and New Zealand agreements

In late June 2015, senior officials from MPI and China’s General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine (AQSIQ) signed a document detailing joint priorities through to 2020 for implementation of the Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) Chapter of the China-New Zealand Free Trade Agreement.

It was signed at the sixth meeting of the New Zealand—China Sanitary and Phytosanitary Joint Management Committee (SPS JMC), established under the provisions of the China-New Zealand Free Trade Agreement.  It will enable the development, implementation and alignment of activities that maximise the mutual benefits of the SPS Chapter.  

The meeting also saw the signing of a Persimmons Protocol for exporting New Zealand persimmons to China, a Cooperation Arrangement for Organic and Halal products, and reviewed progress on a wide range of market access priorities and cooperation programmes of interest to both countries.


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