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This page contains information about Canada’s Global Commerce Strategy (2007-2013). To learn about Canada’s new trade plan, visit Global Markets Action Plan.

Australia and New Zealand

PDF (156 KB)Footnote * | Market Reports: Australia and New Zealand

Sydney, Australia

Australia and New Zealand both have strong, developed economies characterized by business culture and practices similar to those found in North America. The two countries share a “Closer Economic Relations” agreement that underlines the region as a single market. It is a region where the regulatory systems are extensive, transparent and reliable. Australia, for example, has actively sought to boost its productivity and competitiveness by improving domestic competition laws, deregulating financial markets, decentralizing the labour market, and lowering barriers to trade and investment. New Zealand ranks second in the world for ease of doing business (source World Bank Index 2010).While domestic and foreign competition is strong, there are investment opportunities for Canadian companies across many sectors, including intelligent transport systems, environmental and green technologies, health industries, mining and defence sectors and telecommunications equipment and services, machinery and equipment, vehicles and aircraft, oil and gas, and electronics. The countries’ strong commercial ties with key countries throughout Asia can also benefit Canadian companies wishing to extend their reach in Asia. Both Australia and New Zealand have embarked upon ambitious agendas of initiating and joining bilateral and multilateral trade agreements with their Asia-Pacific neighbours. For Canadian companies, particularly smaller companies, key challenges in this market could include costly travel, strict biosecurity regulation (that in Australia can lapse into protectionism), strong competition from both domestic and foreign suppliers and low awareness of Canadian capabilities.

Commercial Relations, 2009

  • Canadian merchandise exports to the region were $2.1 billion, and imports were $2.1 billion.
  • Canadian services exports were estimated at $857 million in 2007, while services imports were $709 million.
  • The stock of foreign direct investment (FDI) in Canada from the region was $4.8 billion, while Canadian direct investment in the region was $13.8 billion.

Market Opportunities

The Government of Canada has identified Australia and New Zealand as a Global Commerce Strategy priority market—based on extensive consultation with government, academic and Canadian business and industry representatives—and has developed a comprehensive Market Plan that identifies the following key sectors as offering clear market opportunities well suited to Canadian capabilities and interests in the region:

  • Agriculture, Food and Beverages: With similar food preferences and trends, including consumers’ growing interest in high-quality foods, private labels and healthy diets, the region offers many opportunities for Canadian agri-food suppliers, including in processed food and beverages, non-beef meats and meat by-products, breeding stocks and genetics, and biotechnology.
  • Service Industries and Capital Projects: Canadian innovation, business culture, quality expectations and market maturity are well matched to the opportunities in this region. Key sub-sectors include engineering, building and construction, environmental services, education, management and consulting services, and publishing.
  • Information and Communication Technology (ICT): The region’s geographically dispersed population requires unique solutions in telecommunications, such as the provision of online education and health services to remote and regional areas. The need for telecommunications solutions, mobile & wireless business and information services, together with on-line education and health services offers commercial opportunities for Canadian expertise in these areas.
  • Health Industries: The region’s aging population and inadequate health care infrastructure represent promising opportunities for Canadian suppliers and expertise in natural health care, pharmaceuticals, institutional devices and medicals.
  • Environmental Industries: Canadian innovations in water and wastewater treatment, renewable energy technologies, green technologies, and bio-processing and bio-fuels are of particular interest to this region.

Canada-Australia and New Zealand Commercial Relations, 2005-2009

Text Alternative: Canada-Australia and New Zealand Commercial Relations
Canada-Australia and New Zealand Commercial Relations, 2005-2009
 Canadian Merchandise ExportsCanadian Merchandise ImportsCanadian Direct Investment Abroad (CDIA)Foreign Direct Investment in Canada (FDI)

Government Leadership and Support

The Government of Canada will continue to monitor and influence commercial policies and regulations in favour of Canadian interests, working with Canadian companies active in the region to identify and help resolve key barriers. Efforts will be made to expand Canada’s Air Services Agreement with Australia and to explore the potential for a free trade agreement with the Asia-Pacific region as a long-term objective. The Canadian Trade Commissioner Service will continue to enhance its ability to provide market intelligence and in-market support, while encouraging more Canadian companies to pursue opportunities in the region and building awareness of Canada’s commercial capabilities and strengths as a North American centre of excellence for talent, innovation, investment, value-added production and trade.

Market Access

Australia and New Zealand are key partners with Canada in multilateral organizations such as the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum, the Cairns Group of agricultural exporting countries, the United Nations, and the World Trade Organization and work cooperatively on the Asia-Pacific Partnership (APP) Task Force for energy and sustainable building. Canada also has a number of bilateral trade and investment policy instruments in place that are helping to facilitate and support Canadian commercial engagement in the region:


  • Canada-Australia Income Tax Convention (Protocol 2002)
  • Canada-New Zealand Income Tax Convention


  • Canada-Australia Air Transport Agreement


  • Canada-New Zealand Agreement on Social Security


  • Australia Trade and Economic Cooperation Arrangement


  • Canada-New Zealand Open Skies Air Transport Agreement

Unless otherwise stated, all data is for 2009 and expressed in Canadian dollars. All data based on latest available national statistics drawn from a variety of sources, including Statistics Canada, Export Development Canada, Bank of Canada, IMF WEO and UNCTAD.

For further information, visit the Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada website or contact the Trade Commissioner Service at 1-888-306-9991.


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Fast Facts


  • Capital: Canberra
  • Total Area: 7,713,000 km²
  • Population: 21.9 million
  • Language(s): English, Aboriginal languages
  • Type of Government: Parliamentary democracy
  • GDP: $1.1 trillion
  • Per capita GDP: $51,675
  • Main Export Destinations: China, Japan, South Korea, India, United States
  • Main Import Sources: China, United States, Japan, Thailand and Singapore
  • Main Exports: Mineral fuels and oils, Mineral ores, Precious metals and stones, Meat and cereals
  • Main Imports: Machinery, Mineral fuels and oils, Electrical and electronic equipment, Vehicles and Precious metals and stones
  • Main Canadian Exports (millions): Machinery ($447.4), Aircraft & spacecraft ($207.9), Meat ($139.5), Electrical and electronic equipment ($102.7), Scientific and precision instruments ($68.3)
  • Main Canadian Imports (millions): Inorganic chemicals ($388.5), Mineral ores ($264.9), Beverages ($252.3), Machinery ($158.2), Meat ($95.0)
  • Currency: C$1=$1.11 AUS

New Zealand

  • Capital: Wellington
  • Total Area: 270,534 km²
  • Population: 4.3 million
  • Language(s): English, Maori
  • Type of Government: Parliamentary democracy
  • GDP: $133.6 billion
  • Per capita GDP: $31,072
  • Main Export Desinations: Australia, United States, China, Japan and United Kingdom
  • Main Import Sources: Australia, China, United States, Japan and Germany
  • Main Exports: Dairy products, Meat, Wood products, Mineral fuels and oils and Machinery
  • Main Imports: Mineral fuels and oils, Machinery, Electrical and electronic equipment, Vehicles and Aerospace products
  • Main Canadian Exports (millions): Fertilizers ($47.2), Aerospace products ($39.6), Machinery ($32.4), Meat ($27.1), Electrical and electronic equipment ($16.2)
  • Main Canadian Imports (millions): Meat ($186.9), Beverages ($55.2), Albumins, modified starch, glue ($39), Dairy products ($31.5), Fruits and nuts ($23.7)
  • Currency: C$1=NZ$1.39

The Canada Trade Commissioner Service