New Zealand and Japan business ties
New Zealand and Japan’s relationship stretches over 100 years. Since diplomatic relations were established in 1952, our two nations share a strong relationship with substantial trade and economic links spanning decades. Two-way trade between our countries is worth NZ$7.2 billion as of end 2020, making Japan New Zealand's fifth largest trading partner.
There are growing opportunities for New Zealand and Japan to increase collaboration in several areas – from food and beverage to agricultural technology, science, renewable energy, high-value manufacturing, hotel construction and sports coaching.
Both our countries are known for our innovation and science; we have educated, ambitious and highly skilled workforces; and we are among the least corrupt countries in the world – all these reasons why Japan and New Zealand make good business partners.
Japan and New Zealand have ratified the Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (CPTPP). This agreement further strengthens the trade relationship between our two countries, giving New Zealand exporters improved access to the Japanese market and providing an opportunity for Japan and New Zealand to discuss emerging areas of cooperation including in the field of renewable and hydrogen energy.
Craig Pettigrew was appointed New Zealand’s Trade Commissioner to Japan in August 2016, and is based in Tokyo. He has a long-standing connection to Japan, having worked in Tokyo previously for NZTE, Air New Zealand and Tourism New Zealand.
Craig has held a number of senior management roles in the public and private sectors focussed on growing business in the East Asia region, most recently at Asahi Premium Beverages and The Better Drinks Company.
Craig was a founding member of the New Zealand Food and Grocery Council Export Advisory Group as well as a member of the Executive Committee of the Japan New Zealand Business Council.