New Zealand Embassy Manila, The Philippines

New Zealand and the Philippines

New Zealand’s relationship with the Philippines is one that is growing, becoming stronger and more diverse.  New Zealand’s trade with the Philippines is very substantial, and the people-to-people links between the countries are growing rapidly.  As a frontline member of ASEAN, the Philippines is an important partner as New Zealand increasingly integrates with the wider Asian region.
The Philippines is New Zealand’s 13th largest export market and about its third largest market for dairy products.   New Zealand exports about six times as much to the Philippines as it imports from there.  Over half of the Philippines’ exports to New Zealand are fruit products (mostly bananas).

All of this trade takes place under the ASEAN-Australia-New Zealand Free Trade Agreement that came into force on 1 January 2010.  This agreement is expected to help diversify the trade in both directions as a direct result of its tariff cuts and other business-enabling provisions. 

New Zealand has significant, and growing, people-to-people links with the Philippines.  It is New Zealand’s sixth-most important source of permanent and long term migrants.  The Filipino population in New Zealand is now estimated at up to 35,000; close to 1% of the country’s population.  A working holiday scheme is under negotiation that would allow young Kiwis and Pinoys to work while holidaying in each other’s countries.

The two countries recently brought into force bilateral cooperation agreements on labour and environment issues, and have had a bilateral arrangement on law enforcement cooperation since 2007.  Under those arrangements, agencies like the New Zealand Police and Ministry for the Environment work with their Philippine counterparts on various projects that bring mutual benefits.  For example, in early 2011, two New Zealand Police officers ran four weeks of training for Philippine National Police officers in Camiguin.

New Zealand and the Philippines inaugurated a strategic defence dialogue in August 2011.

The New Zealand government operates a bilateral official development assistance programme of around NZ$4 million (around PHP120 million) per year.  Much of that funding goes into activities run in the Philippines by multilateral organisations such as the United Nations Development Programme

New Zealand has been an ASEAN dialogue partner since 1975, and is committed to advancing integration in the Asian region, a process that ASEAN is at the core of.  

New Zealand and the Philippines also work closely in the context of a wide variety of regional forums, including APEC, the East Asia Summit, the ASEAN Regional Forum, and the Forum for East Asian and Latin American Cooperation.

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