The Government is to negotiate to join a world agreement on government procurement which would open up overseas contracts to New Zealand businesses.
Trade Minister Tim Groser announced the decision to negotiate to join the World Trade Organisation's government procurement agreement as part of a range of measures aimed at increasing the country's exports.
Mr Groser says the market in government procurement is worth $1.8 trillion.
He says under the agreement government contracts in New Zealand would also have to be open to overseas firms, but this country has few restrictions anyway.
Negotiations will probably take at least two years, he says.