New Zealand and Sweden

Swedish nationals, together with representatives of other Nordic countries, were early visitors and migrants to New Zealand. Swedish botanist Daniel Solander was on Captain Cook's first voyage to New Zealand (1768-1771). Organised migration schemes in the 1870s recruited Nordic migrants who settled largely in the Hawkes Bay region of the North Island. While overall numbers of Nordic migrants to New Zealand has never been high, they have maintained a distinct presence within New Zealand. Further information can be found on the Te Ara (The Encyclopaedia of New Zealand) website.

In more recent times New Zealand and Sweden have developed friendly, cooperative relations, based on similar social attitudes and values. On many international issues, particularly within the United Nations context, the countries often have similar positions and cooperate closely. New Zealand and Sweden also share a commonality of interest on trade policy, where Sweden has been a consistent supporter of liberalisation of the EU's Common Agricultural Policy.

A Working Holiday Scheme between New Zealand and Sweden has been operational since July 2001. This Scheme enables 18-30 year old Swedish and New Zealand nationals to work for up to a year in the other country. There is no longer an upper limit on the number of Swedes able to take advantage of this scheme in any given year.

The New Zealand Embassy in Sweden opened on 7 July 2008. The first Ambassador is Ms. Barbara Bridge.

Economic and Trade Relationship

Bilateral trade in 2009 was significantly to Sweden's advantage. New Zealand's exports to Sweden (fob) were NZ$73.3 million, with the main items being sheep meat, venison, wine and fish fillets. Swedish exports to New Zealand totalled NZ$377.9 million, with medicaments, cars and heavy vehicles comprising the bulk of products.

Of interest

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