What is Trade Works?

Trade Works is the communications platform for the New Zealand International Business Forum and the New Zealand members of the APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC).

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Welcome to Trade Works! Nau mai, haere mai!

We’re passionate about trade and its potential to grow sustainable and inclusive economies and create the conditions for increased prosperity for all.   Our website is packed with information about trade and its relevance, especially to Aotearoa New Zealand which is our home.  You’ll also find information about us and what we do and what we think about the big trade issues of the day.

Trade Works is sponsored by the NZ International Business Forum (NZIBF).  NZIBF is a business organisation which brings together New Zealand’s leading exporters, international businesses and peak business bodies.  We advocate for our members’ interests in trade negotiations and work closely with the NZ Government and its agencies to open new markets.  We also make regular media comments and submissions to the Parliamentary Select Committee and other public consultation processes.

ABAC is the business voice of APEC.  It brings together three business leaders from each of APEC’s 21 economies including New Zealand. ABAC makes an annual Report to APEC Economic Leaders with recommendations for building the region’s economy. NZIBF’s executive team provides advice and support to New Zealand’s three ABAC Members.

Our Purpose & Goals

Trade Works exists to promote understanding of New Zealand’s global trade interests in a complex and uncertain world.  We do so from the perspective of business gathered in NZIBF and ABAC, but we acknowledge that trade involves many other stakeholders including workers and citizens, women as well as men, young and old, Māori and Pakeha and people of other ethnic backgrounds.   

Our aim is to explain and to provide information and background to help those interested in trade make up their own mind about the value and contribution of trade and international business.

Why we think trade is important?

Trade is the life blood of our economy, in normal times and times of crisis like right now. Trade, both exports and imports, gives consumers more choice and a broader range of goods and services to choose from. 

Trade in goods and services makes possible the lifestyles we have become accustomed to. It helps diversify and deepen our economy. But more than this, the links we develop through trade and investment with other economies support people to people connections. They give us a richer and more diverse society.  

Above all, more trade means more jobs. We can’t prosper by selling to ourselves, we can’t eat all we produce and we can’t produce all we need. Over 600,000 jobs in New Zealand are dependent either directly or indirectly on trade.

How does freer trade build sustainable and inclusive economies?

“Free trade” doesn’t mean completely unregulated trade. Trade needs effective rules like any other area of activity. Free Trade agreements (FTAs) set fairer rules for the easier flow of goods and services, including in areas like trade and the environment and trade and labour. 

They also deal with the flow of capital. Companies need capital to grow. Export income, capital inflows through foreign direct investment and the remittance of dividends from New Zealand’s offshore investments – these are what plug the gap in domestic spending and government deficits. 

They create jobs, they help us pay for our hospitals, our world class education and to build better infrastructure.

How you can get involved?

To be part of the trade conversation, please engage with us by registering on our website to receive notifications of updates. You can also follow us on social media – Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Youtube.


Register to stay up to date with latest news, as well as saving and discussing articles you’re interested in.




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