The Pacific region is on New Zealand’s front doorstep. Today we are a Pacific nation with a large Polynesian population.
Over many years Pacific Island countries have sourced imports of food and services from New Zealand. Currently trade is very much in New Zealand’s favour. Remittances and aid tend to balance the books. By growing our exports to the region we create benefits for all.
Over the years as New Zealand developed global markets for its products the Pacific has become a forgotten market.
Trade headlines tell us that our exports to China rose 26% in the year ended in June. But our total exports fell 2%. We appear to be again falling into a trap of selling fewer goods to fewer countries and becoming overly dependent on one, a situation reminiscent of the 1950’s when the bulk of our trade went to Great Britain.
Our Network aims to become a strong voice that ensures the Pacific as an export destination is not relegated to that of a minor player as it currently is. As the region generates the second largest trade surplus of any of our trading partners we think it is worthy of much greater attention by all.
We have identified many impediments that inhibit the growth of our trade volumes with the Pacific region. These will be progressively analysed and discussed within our membership. Strategies will be developed and approaches made to address these shortcomings.
We firmly believe that a successful Pacific Exporter’s Network is essential if the aims of the Government’s Business Growth Agenda are to be achieved. The Agenda seeks to increase NZ’s exports to 40% of GDP by 2025 from the current 30%.
Details on how the Government proposes to achieve this are scarce. The Network plans to play an active role in assisting that aim to be achieved.