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Our relationship with Mexico

In 2013 New Zealand and Mexico commemorated the 40th anniversary of diplomatic relations and the 30th anniversary of the opening of the New Zealand Embassy in Mexico City. In recent years our relationship has broadened from a focus on trade and cooperation within international forums to include a wide range of business, research, political, cultural and people-to-people links - including the introduction of a working holiday scheme in 2008, and student and staff excchanges between our universities and polytechnics. 

We cooperate closely on disarmament issues, human rights issues and environmental issues - particularly climate change, whale conservation and fossil fuel subsidy reform. In 2010 we signed a renewable energy cooperation arrangement with Mexico.


2014 statistics

Total trade in goods 

$530 million


Exports to Mexico

$283 million 

Top exports: casein, butter and dairy spreads, milk powder

Imports from Mexico

$247 million

Top imports: motor vehicles, beer, telephones and cellphones


US$1.3 trillion

GDP per capita US $10,715 (NZ GDP per capita is US$43,837)
GDP growth  2.1%  

New Zealand and Mexico have complementary economies with New Zealand's strength being in agricultrue and Mexico's in manufacturing.

There's considerable potential for growth in trade and investment between our two countries. Mexico became a Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiating partner in October 2012 and both Mexico and New Zealand are committed to concluding a high quality TPP that liberalises trade and investment and would boost trade, employment and growth in both countries. Trade and investment links have strengthened with numerous trade missions and visits by officials, scientists and technical experts. 

Read more about the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP)

Latin America Strategy

Our growing engagement with Mexico has been fostered by New Zealand’s Latin America Strategy (2000). In Mexico, this gives particular focus to:

  • promoting increased trade and investment between our countries, with a focus on our relationship as partners in the Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations
  • sharing our experiences of good governance and competitiveness
  • cooperating closely in international forums such as the UN, APEC and the Whaling Commission.

Working Holiday Scheme

New Zealanders aged between 18 and 30 can apply for a 12-month working holiday visa for Mexico. Applications are made through the Mexican Embassy in New Zealand, and an interview in person is required. New Zealanders living in other countries can apply through the nearest Mexican Embassy or Consulate. 

For more information, read the Mexico Embassy website (in Spanish). (external link)


The New Zealand Embassy in Mexico City operates a Head of Mission Fund to support small scale, community-based development projects. Funding is granted each year to a range of groups in Mexico - in keeping with the New Zealand Aid Programme's objective to support sustainable development in developing countries.

The New Zealand Aid Programme funds scholarships for Latin Americans


New Zealand is represented in Mexico by the New Zealand Embassy, Mexico City

Mexico is represented in New Zealand by the Mexican Embassy, Wellington (external link)

Recent official visits

New Zealand to Mexico 
  • 2015: Trade Minister Tim Groser visited Mexico in May 2015 to attend the 2015 World Economic Forum (WEF) Latin American meeting
  • 2013: Prime Minister John Key led a delegation with representatives from New Zealand businesses with interests in Latin America, such as Zespri, Fonterra, Air New Zealand, niche agribusiness companies, and representatives from the education and technology sectors
  • 2012: Trade Minister Tim Groser visited for G20 Trade Ministers Meeting in Puerto Vallarta
  • March 2011: Ministers Su’a William Sio and Pete Hodgson made a Parliamentary visit
Mexico to New Zealand
  • 2014: Minister of Foreign Affairs José Antonio Meade Kuribreña visited to discuss closer bilateral cooperation and links with New Zealand
  • 2012: Minister of Economy Secretary Bruno Ferrari visited to discuss Mexico’s participation in the Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations
  • 2011: Prime Minister’s Fellow Dr Jaime Zabludovsky, who is an authority on trade policy issues in Mexico, visited to exchange views on trade and economic developments in Mexico as well as New Zealand’s economic reform experience
  • August 2010: The Jalisco State Secretaries for education and for agriculture visited for the second round of talks under the Agriculture Cooperation Arrangement between New Zealand and the State of Jalisco
  • June 2010: Secretary of Agriculture, Francisco Mayorga visited New Zealand with the head of the Mexico Food Safety and Biosecurity Agency (SENASICA) and the head of the Mexico’s National Research Institute (INIFAP) - senior officials were accompanied by an agribusiness delegation