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Economic relations

Given the remoteness of New Zealand from France and the size of its economy, bilateral trade is modest. Even so, total trade grew by 41.1% between 2000 (€482.9 million) and 2012 (€681.7 million).

France’s exports are essentially industrial and dominated by major contracts, particularly in the aviation sector. Exports doubled between 2000 and 2005 (from €231.7 million to €479.6 million) and consist almost entirely of manufactured goods, including capital goods, mechanical equipment, electrical, electronic and IT equipment, and transport equipment (cars, aircraft). France’s food and pharmaceutical industries also perform well on the New Zealand market.

French imports, mainly involving agricultural and food products, have remained relatively stable (ranging between €320 million and €360 million annually) since 2005. New Zealand’s exports are largely confined to two major sectors: agricultural, forestry and fishery products and food products (meat and dairy products). There are signs, however, of a gradual diversification in New Zealand’s exports to France.

After five years of trade deficit with New Zealand, 2011 saw a return to a trade surplus for France and a sharp increase (+35%) in bilateral trade. Linked as it is to deliveries on major contracts, particularly in the aviation field, the level of French exports is subject to wide fluctuations.

In 2011, our exports increased by over 80% compared to 2010 (as against a 5% increase in imports). Excluding "transport equipment", the increase was 11.4% over 2010, possibly reflecting a recovery in demand in New Zealand. At the end of 2012, the balance of trade was virtually even (at approximately €341 million on each side).

Updated on 11.07.13

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