New Zealand Embassy & Mission to the European Union, Brussels, Belgium
New Zealand and Belgium
New Zealand enjoys a longstanding relationship with Belgium based on historical ties, Belgium’s position in the European Union and a shared view on many international issues. New Zealand participation in the Flanders battles during World War I is warmly commemorated. Messines is the twin town of Featherston. A reciprocal Working Holiday Agreement between New Zealand and Belgium, for 18-30 year olds, entered into force on 1 November 2004.
The Belgian Embassy in Canberra is responsible for relations with New Zealand. Belgium is also represented by Honorary Consuls in Auckland, Christchurch and Wellington. Flanders has a trade commissioner in Auckland. New Zealand is represented in Belgium by an Embassy in Brussels and an Honorary Consul in Antwerp.
Belgium is a major and growing trading partner for New Zealand in Europe. A large proportion of New Zealand's exports to the European Union enter through the Belgian ports of Antwerp and Zeebrugge. New Zealand companies based in Belgium include Fonterra, Meat New Zealand, Richmond Europe, Zespri International Europe, Tourism Holdings Ltd and eServ Global.
Belgium is an important market for New Zealand sheep meat and butter. Other major exports are cheese and wool (particularly coarse wool, most of which goes to Belgium's large export-orientated carpet industry). Imports from Belgium for the year ended June 2004 totalled NZ$325.5 million cif. Major items included motor vehicles, paper products, diamonds and televisions.
For more information about Belgium, the following websites may be helpful: