UK traders confident they can benefit from Australia and New Zealand trade deals, webinar polls find

Fri 28 Apr 2023
Posted by: William Barns-Graham
IOE News
UK, New Zealand and Australia flags on flagpoles with sun lit sky behind

Most UK traders are confident that they will be ready to benefit from the country’s new trade deals with Australia and New Zealand but view the distance to these markets as a significant challenge, according to polls conducted this week by the Institute of Export & International Trade (IOE&IT).

The UK signed post-Brexit agreements with Australia and New Zealand in December 2021 and February 2022 respectively. Both deals were granted Royal Assent after the passing of the Trade (Australia and New Zealand) Act 2023 through Parliament earlier this week.

IOE&IT partnered with the UK government to deliver two webinars about how UK businesses can benefit from each deal this week, which were attended by around 200 businesses.

On yesterday's (27 April) webinar about the New Zealand deal, government officials said the deals are likely to enter into force “in the late Spring”.


Delegates were asked a series of polls about their preparedness for the agreements.

When asked whether they felt sufficiently confident in their knowledge and skills to benefit from the trade deals, over 95% said they felt either ‘very confident’ or ‘quite confident’ in regard to the New Zealand agreement, with 83% saying the same for the Australia deal.

Delegates said that ‘reduced tariffs’ were the most significant benefit of each agreement, with 77% saying this for the Australia deal and 73% saying so for New Zealand. In each case, the next most significant benefit was ‘reduced bureaucracy’.


Half of the delegates (50%) on the Australia trade deal webinar said ‘logistics and distance’ was the most significant challenge for doing trade down under, with a similar proportion (53%) saying the same for New Zealand.

A quarter of delegates said ‘market knowledge’ was the next most significant hurdle for Australia, while a fifth said ‘tariffs’ remained a concern for trade with New Zealand.

Utilisation key

Henriette Gjaerde, a trade and customs specialist at IOE&IT, said she was encouraged that businesses felt confident they could benefit from the treaties.

Gjaerde, who is also IOE&IT’s lead on trade agreements, spoke on both webinars and said that government and industry needs to work together to ensure both trade pacts are utilised by businesses.

She said:

“It was great to see that the webinar attendees felt confident in their ability to benefit from the trade agreements. Signing trade deals is great but government and organisations like IOE&IT now need to focus on ensuring businesses utilise the agreements.

“Webinars like the ones we hosted this week are important for this, giving businesses the knowledge needed to benefit from the agreements. We’d like to thank the Department for Business and Trade (DBT) and Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) for partnering with us on them.”

Gjaerde was joined on both webinars my Conor McLaughlin, the lead trade and investment officer for Australia and New Zealand at the FCDO.

Sharron Drew, the director for trade and investment for New Zealand at DBT, also spoke on the New Zealand webinar.

UK Australia webinar

UK New Zealand webinar