• Dr Lockwood Smith
International Trade

Trade Minister Lockwood Smith has announced the establishment of an international Education Marketing Network.

"The education sector is becoming one of New Zealand's major foreign exchange earners. It's estimated that the sector attracts approximately $500 million in foreign exchange each year, including $200 million through direct fees and an additional $300 million in spending by international students in New Zealand.

"This puts education on the same level as other significant export industries, such as our pulp or paper sectors which each earn around $500 million in foreign exchange.

"But the projections for the future are even more exciting. It's estimated that the education sector could attract up to $1 billion dollars in foreign exchange by 2005. But we'll need a smart strategy to realise this potential," Dr Smith said.

"The education network is an example of the sort of innovative thinking and partnership between government agencies and the private sector that the Government has been advocating. The steering committee comprises representatives from the education and tourism sectors, Education NZ Trust, Trade New Zealand, NZ Tourism Board and NZ Immigration Service."

"A key issue facing the education sector is its branding and positioning in the international market. One of the network's first tasks will be develop a strategy to promote New Zealand as an education destination, and this will involve establishing close linkages with the NZ Tourism Board's global marketing campaign.

"The network's objectives will be closely linked to the education sector's industry plan which draws together the export aspirations of the different parts of the education sector, including universities, polytechnics, colleges of education, English language schools, secondary schools and vocational institutions.

"The Education Marketing Network provides an excellent opportunity for the education sector to implement a clear set of practical strategies for developing key markets through to the end of the year 2000," Dr Smith concluded.