Cooperation with the countries of Oceania

Australia and  New Zealand - the key countries of Oceania, are important agricultural producers that export two thirds of their agricultural produce due to their own relatively small populations. Both countries pursue pro-active trade policies with a focus on Asia, and both compete against one another with their products– above all, milk, meat, cereals- on international markets. As “free traders” they play a major role in international trade policy.

The central goals of cooperation with the countries of Oceania include the coordination of positions to improve the international trade and investment conditions, the promotion of bilateral and multilateral trade, the expansion of cooperation in research related to agriculture and nutrition, as well as joint initiatives to improve resource conservation and climate change mitigation.

Australia and New Zealand have for many years participated actively and with high-level representatives in the Global Forum for Food and Agriculture. 

Close exchange with Australia on specific policies

Germany and Australia are linked by a close exchange on specific policies, including issues related to the G20 and discussions on developments within the World Trade Organization (WTO) and ongoing negotiations on free trade agreements.

Agriculture and agricultural trade are of crucial importance to Australia.  Australia has, for decades, been a net exporter of foodstuffs around the globe, especially meat. Australia exports agricultural produce chiefly to China, Japan, the USA and the European Union. Germany is its most important trading partner within the European Union. 

Agricultural relations and trade policy as the focus of exchange between Germany and New Zealand

Due to the vital importance of its agricultural sector, its strong export focus and its commitment to the further liberalisation of global agricultural markets, New Zealand is a major player within the WTO and a key partner in the BMEL's bilateral cooperation.

Globally speaking, New Zealand is an important agricultural producer and the largest exporter of dairy products.  In total, around two-thirds of the agri-food industry's goods are exported.  New Zealand exports mainly to China, Australia, USA, Japan and South Korea.  Europe accounts for 12% of agricultural exports, with Germany being New Zealand's most important trading partner after Great Britain.

Germany, after Australia, the USA and Great Britain, ranks fourth among New Zealand’s partners in research cooperation. The thematic priorities encompass the agricultural and food industries, biotechnology, environmental and climate issues, marine and Antarctic research and renewable energies.

On the basis of the 1977 agreement on scientific and technological cooperation with New Zealand, the BMEL and BMBF regularly publish joint funding announcements in consultation with New Zealand party organisations.  The last joint announcement dates back to spring 2019 and focuses on research collaborations related to the subject of "climate change". 

All in all, most of the BMEL's federal research institutes and a majority of the Leibniz institutes maintain active, in some cases long-standing, cooperative relationships with research institutes in New Zealand.

In addition, Germany and New Zealand are working together within the "Global Research Alliance on Agricultural Greenhouse Gases" (GRA) international research alliance, which was initiated by New Zealand and launched at the World Climate Conference in Copenhagen in December 2009.  Here, the focus is on the shaping and further development of an international research network to develop options for reducing greenhouse gas emissions from the agricultural sector.

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