Welcome to Trade Works, the communications platform for the New Zealand International Business Forum (NZIBF), and the New Zealand Chapter of the APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC).

Here you will find information about trade and investment and why these are important for New Zealand. You can find out more about NZIBF, our members, governance and projects and what we are saying about current issues. You can also read up about the work of ABAC and its New Zealand members.

Why is trade important?

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

Freer trade, by which we mean unhindered by unnecessary trade barriers, has helped make possible the lifestyles we have become accustomed to. It has helped 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.

What about jobs?

Put simply, 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 else can freer trade help us?

“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.

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