What Is The Economic Relationship Between Aotearoa New Zealand and Taiwan?

What Is The Economic Relationship Between Aotearoa New Zealand and Taiwan?

Connection to Māori in Aotearoa New Zealand

Recently we told you about the relationship of Māori in Aotearoa NZ to indigenous Taiwanese peoples.

But there’s more you need to know about the economic relationship between NZ and Taiwan.

Probably, the most important and interesting thing to note is that the indigenous connection has official recognition in a free trade agreement that New Zealand has with Taiwan.

This agreement is called the ANZTEC agreement, but more on that at another time.

Background information on Taiwan

In terms of some brief background information, the Republic of China (ROC) Taiwan is:

  • Situated in the Pacific Ocean about 160 km off the southeastern coast of the Chinese mainland with a population of 23 million.
  • A multi-party, fully-fledged democratic country with all public officials from president to county magistrates directly elected by the people in Taiwan.
  • Currently, New Zealand’s 7th largest export market, 14th largest import market, and 11th largest trading partner.

It’s complicated with China, right?

You may have already known that New Zealand’s relationship with mainland China makes things complicated for Taiwan.

Here are a few details that might help explain the situation:

  • The ROC Taiwan established full diplomatic ties with New Zealand in 1961. However, on December 22, 1972, the New Zealand government switched recognition to the People’s Republic of China.
  • In order to maintain trade relations between Taiwan and New Zealand, the Taiwanese government established the East Asian Trade Center in Auckland in May 1973.
  • This office was later moved to Wellington and the name was changed to Taipei Economic and Cultural Office (TECO) in November 1991.


TECO has offices in Wellington and Auckland which represent the Republic of China on Taiwan.

TECO has essentially the same function as an embassy except for the name. That also means that Representative Chen, who leads TECO in NZ has the same function as an ambassador.

What does TECO do?

TECO serves and protects the interests and welfare of Taiwanese in New Zealand.

It also promotes economic, trade, cultural, educational, scientific, financial, and other exchanges and cooperation between Taiwan and New Zealand. You can read more about everything here.

What about Chapter 19?

This brings us back to the official recognition of the indigenous connection between our two countries.

It’s called Chapter 19 and it sits inside a free trade agreement known as ANZTEC or the Agreement between NZ and Taiwan on Economic Cooperation (ANZTEC).

Stay tuned for more information

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