Exporters expand despite global challenges

  • Hon David Parker
Economic Development Trade and Export Growth

New Zealand’s exporters are signing new deals and improving the nation’s prosperity despite many global headwinds, Minister for Trade and Export Growth and Economic Development David Parker said today. 

“Our exporters are among the most committed and innovative in the world. With Government support they are really proving that trade can be expanded even while there is unpredictability and volatility in the international markets,” he said. 

Commenting on the Government’s international business development agency, New Zealand Trade and Enterprise (NZTE), as it conducted its annual report to a parliamentary Select Committee, David Parker said a co-ordinated approach to developing trade was working. 

Highlights from NZTE’s annual report included:

Of the 12,000 exporters in NZ, 5500 are customers of NZTE including a high-focus portfolio of 700 companies;

  • Those 700 companies grew their international revenue by around $3.5 billion, rising 9.2 per cent more than the benchmark group of exporters. There was a notable rebound for companies in the food and beverage, manufacturing and service sectors;
  • The annual value of new trade deals was $1.7 billion, compared to a target of $1.5 billion;
  • Four international regions increased the value of export deals year on year, with East Asia returning an additional 23 per cent and the Australia Pacific region up 15 per cent;
  • NZTE has identified huge potential in the Māori economy and has a portfolio of 195 Māori customers, including 48 in the Focus 700;
  • NZTE was involved in 57 investment deals worth $800 million. The economic impact of these investments, including the forecast impact of wages, spending by suppliers and profits, was $2.3 billion, above the target of $2 billion.

A key focus for NZTE was the development of digital services for customers and an extension of services for small and medium enterprises.

In terms of collaboration, NZTE shares a growing number of its Focus 700 Customers with Callaghan Innovation, currently 453 compared with 361 at the end of 2017/18. 

Across both trade and investment customers, NZTE’s strategy is to support the diversification of the economy and a move from a reliance on high volumes of commodities to the premium, high value end of the market. The Government also encourages NZTE to support a diversified global footprint of services, to hedge against market risk and volatility. 

David Parker said the Coalition Government was determined to ensure that a NZ Inc approach to trade and investment ensured that all New Zealanders would benefit. 

“I congratulate our exporters on their achievements. Their work ensures that our economy remains sustainable and robust.” 

  • NZTE’s 2017/18 annual report can be found here.