New Zealand Overview
New Zealand is an island country in the southwestern Pacific Ocean. The country geographically comprises two main landmasses ‒ that of the North and South Islands ‒ and numerous smaller islands. New Zealand is situated some 1,500 kilometres (900 mi) east of Australia across the Tasman Sea and roughly 1,000 kilometres (600 mi) south of the Pacific island nations of New Caledonia, Fiji, and Tonga. New Zealand has a population of around 4.6 million.
New Zealand has a modern, prosperous and developed market economy with an estimated GDP of) at purchasing power parity (PPP) of $166 billion in 2015 and a growth rate of 2.2%. The currency is the New Zealand dollar.
New Zealand is heavily dependent on international trade, particularly in agricultural products. Exports account for a high 24 percent of its output, making New Zealand vulnerable to international commodity prices and global economic slowdowns. Its principal export industries are agriculture, horticulture, fishing, forestry and mining, which make up about half of the country’s exports. Its major export partners are Australia, United States, Japan, China, and the United Kingdom. On 7 April 2008, New Zealand and China signed the New Zealand China Free Trade Agreement, the first such agreement China has signed with a developed country. The service sector is the largest sector in the economy, followed by manufacturing and construction and then farming and raw material extraction. Tourism plays a significant role in New Zealand’s economy, contributing $15.0 billion to New Zealand’s total GDP and supporting 9.6 percent of the total workforce in 2010. International visitors to New Zealand increased by 3.1 percent in the year to October 2010 and are expected to increase at a rate of 2.5 percent annually up to 2015.
New Zealand – Israel Relations
Historically, economic interest has driven the relationship forward towards positive cooperation.
Exports from New Zealand to Israel were $23 NZ million and imports at $112 NZ million (year end June 2014). Israel is ranked the 55th largest two-way trade partner.
New Zealand and Israel do not conduct a large amount of trade due to the geographical distance and small market sizes, however, a focus by New Zealand to develop the hi-tech industry and implement innovation and business growth through science and technology has seen a significant relationship built on initiatives such as the Small Advanced Economies Forum of which New Zealand and Israel are both members.
There are some stand out examples of successful economic cooperation between Israel and New Zealand.
CropX is a company born out of New-Zealand R&D, and Israeli entrepreneurship. The company was founded by an Israeli scientist, Issac Bentwich who was living in New Zealand. The technology was developed in conjunction with a business incubator the BCC (Bio Commerce Centre, now called Building Clever Companies). The company was renamed from Varigate to CropX and began raising funds in Israel.
In another case study, Israeli dairy company Afimilk led a $500 million turnkey project in Vietnam in 2012 and in China in 2014 to stimulate agricultural development and training and create a market for technology adoption. Israel provided the specialist knowledge and soft analytics technology in dealing with animals and milk yields in a high heat stress environment. New Zealand provided over 30,000 cows and Waikato Milking Systems provided hardware. Waikato are a partner and distributor of Afimilk her management systems in New Zealand.
A formal Film Co-Production agreement was also signed in 2016 between the New Zealand and Israeli governments.
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