• Lockwood Smith
International Trade

"The steady upward trend in our exports demonstrates that New Zealand exporters continue to expand their business in competitive world markets," according to Trade Minister Lockwood Smith.

Overseas Merchandise Trade Figures released today confirm the upward trend in export growth, up 2.8 percent from the same period last year.

The statistics continue to be distorted by one-off purchases of large aircraft worth more than half a billion dollars which have impacted on the trade balance figures," said Dr Smith.

"These figures demonstrate that the New Zealand economy's recovery is robust. The private sector is willing to make significant capital investments to secure their future competitiveness, and our exporters are continuing to increase the value of exports in our offshore markets.

"Today's figures also lend weight to the National-led Government's approach to economic management, and its commitment to lower barriers to trade through bilateral negotiations, APEC and the World Trade Organisation.

"The current threat of safeguard action against New Zealand lamb exports to the US demonstrates the ongoing threat of protectionism, which would severly limit our ability to enjoy ongoing export growth.

"This Government will continue to make every effort to reduce and remove barriers to trade in order to create jobs, and provide a higher standard of living for New Zealand families," Dr Smith concluded.