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Webinar: Digital Trade Policy – what is it, and what does it mean for you?

This is an event run in partnership with NZTech

Digital technology touches nearly every aspect of our lives and has had a real impact on the way we trade – no less, so in recent months given the COVID19 pandemic. We want the international digital economy to operate, and be governed, in a way that supports New Zealand firms and the continuation of free and open trade.

Through this webinar we will share what MFAT is working on to support New Zealand’s trade recovery and what we’re doing on international digital trade policy. It’s also a chance for us to hear your experiences – to help inform our digital trade work going forward.

In this webinar the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade will:

  • Provide a high-level overview of New Zealand’s trade policy and COVID-19 trade recovery strategy.
  • Discuss what we are doing on digital trade (including FTA negotiations with the UK and EU, the World Trade Organisation, as well as the recently agreed Digital Economy Partnership Agreement with Singapore and Chile);
  • Highlight emerging issues where we need your ongoing feedback to make the most of digital trade rules for business; and
  • Set out how you can get involved.

The presentations will be followed by a Q&A session facilitated by NZTech. This is an opportunity to interact directly with the negotiators.


Caroline Bilkey – Assistant Secretary Auckland, Trade and Economic Group, MFAT

Caroline Bilkey took up the role of Director of the Auckland Office of MFAT (co-located with NZTE) in June 2018. Caroline and her team work with Auckland businesses to ensure their interests inform New Zealand’s international trade policy and that firms are aware of how MFAT can support them to trade internationally.

Caroline was New Zealand’s Ambassador to Brazil from 2015 until May 2018 and High Commissioner to Samoa from 2007-2010. Caroline has also had postings in Bangkok and Geneva and has worked for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in Rwanda and Tanzania. She also worked at the New Zealand Embassy in Washington as Director of Congressional Relations and has worked on a range of international legal issues in the course of her career, as well as on political and economic relations with a number of New Zealand’s bilateral partners.

Alana Hudson, Unit Manager, Services and Investment Unit, MFAT

Alana is a New Zealand diplomat and experienced trade negotiator.  In her current role, she leads a team engaged in New Zealand’s trade negotiations across the areas of services, investment and e-commerce/digital trade.  She is also the senior official responsible for the implementation of the Digital Economy Partnership Agreement, signed in June with Singapore and Chile. Throughout a 20 year career, she has led and supported bilateral and multilateral negotiations across areas including goods trade, intellectual property, agriculture policy, and customs procedures. She was New Zealand’s negotiator for the WTO’s Trade Facilitation Agreement and the Information Technology Agreement expansion process between 2011 and 2015.  She has served overseas in both Geneva and Brussels, and was Lead Adviser for Latin America from 2015-2018, leading New Zealand’s engagement with the Pacific Alliance.

Caroline and Alana will be joined for Q and A by Claire Kibblewhite, Nicole Slight and Nik Black, key staff within MFAT’s trade negotiations team on e-commerce and digital trade.



Aug 27
12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
Event Category:


Zoom (webinar)
New Zealand