Sustained growth depends on international competitiveness

Since its previous Trade Policy review in 2003, New Zealand has remained among the more open economies in the world, with prudent macroeconomic policies together with liberalization and restructuring contributing to steady real GDP growth averaging 3.2% between 2003/04 and 2007/08, according to a WTO Secretariat report on the trade policies and practices of New Zealand.

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The WTO report, along with a policy statement by the Government, will be the basis for the Trade Policy Review (TPR) by the Trade Policy Review Body of the WTO.

However, GDP growth is expected to slow down significantly in 2008/09 owing to a recession in the first three quarters of the current fiscal year.

Although by and large New Zealand’s economic fundamentals remain sound, sustained growth depends on the Government addressing macroeconomic imbalances such as the current account deficit and heavy reliance on foreign borrowing, as well as on boosting productivity growth. The report notes New Zealand’s high concentration of exports in the agriculture sector and the marginal increase in Foreign Direct Investment.

Already low tariffs have been further reduced during the period under review and the country has had limited recourse to non-tariff barriers except for those maintained for health and safety reasons. While maintaining its commitment to the strengthening and liberalization of the multilateral trading system, New Zealand pursues bilateral or plurilateral Preferential Trade Agreements to complement its wider trade strategy.

The report, along with a policy statement by the Government of New Zealand, will be the basis for the fourth Trade Policy Review (TPR) of New Zealand by the Trade Policy Review Body of the WTO on 10 and 12 June 2009.

The following documents are available in MS Word format.


Note  back to top

Trade Policy Reviews are an exercise, mandated in the WTO agreements, in which member countries’ trade and related policies are examined and evaluated at regular intervals. Significant developments that may have an impact on the global trading system are also monitored. For each review, two documents are prepared: a policy statement by the government of the member under review, and a detailed report written independently by the WTO Secretariat. These two documents are then discussed by the WTO’s full membership in the Trade Policy Review Body (TPRB). These documents and the proceedings of the TPRB’s meetings are published shortly afterwards.

Print copies of previous TPR publications are available for sale from the WTO Secretariat, Centre William Rappard, 154 rue de Lausanne, 1211 Genève 21 and through the on-line bookshop.

The TPR publications are also available from our co-publisher Bernan Press, 4611-F Assembly Drive, Lanham, MD 20706-4391, United States.


Schedule of forthcoming reviews  back to top

Morocco: 24 and 26 June 2009
Guyana: 8 and 10 July 2009
Zambia: 27 and 29 July 2009


> Full list of previous TPRs

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