With the General Election rhetoric reaching fever pitch on issues that mean little to the economic future of the country, we might reflect on the score card for export performance in the Government's Business Growth Agenda. We think this is very important as exports to Pacific destinations make a major contribution to current and future targets set in the Agenda.
With GDP growth falling back to our long term average of 2% a year, the Government is missing by miles its two key goals. The first is to double exports by 2025. That requires exports to grow by between 5.5 to 7.5% a year. Treasury forecasts they will grow by 1.6% a year 2014-2018.
The second goal is to grow exports from 30 to 40% of GDP by 2025. Treasury forecasts they will fall from 30% in 2013 to 26% in 2017.
The claimed reason for this disappointing performance is continued dependence on commodity exports and the slow transition from commodities to higher value products.
The general composition of New Zealand's exports to Pacific destinations is high value. To increase the level of Pacific exports is highly desirable. PEN is of a view that they are of such importance to warrant a much greater support effort from the Government and its agencies.
PEN proposes to engage with the incoming Government about this issue.
To start the process a meeting is being convened in Wellington on the morning of 23 September for PEN members and any others who might be interested.
If you wish to attend, please contact PEN and register your interest.