Exporters Continue to Successfully Weather Asian Storm

  • Dr Lockwood Smith

New Zealanders can be quietly confident of our exporters' continued ability to weather the Asian Economic Crisis following provisional merchandise trade statistics which suggest exports were up 4.9% in August 1998 compared with August 1997, Trade Minister Lockwood Smith said today.

Dr Smith said he also took heart from the rising trend in the trade balance over the last three months.

"Exporters have faced very difficult international trading conditions over the last year, but the data shows they have been able to respond positively," he said.

"The value of exports to Korea, Malaysia and Thailand is down significantly, but the increasing value of exports to the United States, Germany, the EU and Mexico has more than made up for it.

"The improving trend in the trade balance means that our exporters are making positive contributions towards further reducing our current account deficit."