The European Union and New Zealand have finalised a formal agreement for co-operation which Foreign Affairs Minister Murray McCully hopes will be a springboard to a free trade deal.
Negotiations concluded on Wednesday with the High Representative of the European Union, Baroness Catherine Ashton, at the Pacific Islands Forum in Palau.
Mr McCully said it puts New Zealand's relationship with the EU on a stronger footing and will be a platform for pursuing a free trade agreement. He said trade with Europe is static, which reflects the lack of a trade deal.
The minister said New Zealand is one of only half a handful of countries yet to negotiate a free trade agreement with the EU.