New Zealand’s International Trade Face Challenges in Returning to ‘Normal’.



  • The Government has secured another two COVID-19 vaccines and intends to roll out an immunisation programme, first for frontline workers in Q2 2021 and later for the general public in H2 2021.
  • PM Jacinda Ardern shared that New Zealand is hopeful in opening a travel bubble with Australia by April 2021, and is working to finalise the necessary anti-coronavirus border measures. The Cabinet had agreed “in principle” to open a quarantine-free trans-Tasman travel bubble in Q1 2021, provided there are no major virus outbreaks in either country.
  • Currently, Australia has allowed quarantine-free travel for New Zealand arrivals since October, but New Zealand has not reciprocated, maintaining its 14-day quarantine rule.
  • The fiscal and economic impact of the pandemic is said to be less severe than first feared, after the nation was placed under one of the world’s strictest lockdowns. While GDP plunged to 12.2% in Q2, it is predicted to have surged by 12.9% in Q3.
  • China is enforcing stringent checks on imported cold-chain products with tightened cold chain guidelines after claiming to have found coronavirus on frozen meat. Chinese authorities have yet to advice if New Zealand’s frozen meat exports had been tested positive for the virus. It is anticipated that this move will likely additional barriers to trade.
  • Sea freight to New Zealand has not returned to pre-COVID frequency and volume. Some shipping lines had begun bypassing New Zealand to reduce delays in their own schedules.