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Exporters upbeat for 2011

Kiwi exporters are upbeat and determined to increase their exports in the year ahead, according to ExportNZ's National Export Outlook Survey.

The findings from the inaugural Export Outlook survey undertaken mid November are being released today. (Click here for the report)

"Kiwi exporters are looking forward to 2011 with confidence borne of experience and self belief," said Catherine Beard, Executive Director of ExportNZ.

"80 per cent of them expect to increase their orders across all their markets," she said.

"44 per cent of the sample, 251 mainly manufacturing exporters, plan to enter new market regions over the next 12 months.

"Over half expect their profits to improve next year, with a further 32 per cent expecting their profit levels to hold steady.

"Furthermore, about half of the firms plan to keep their staff at the same level, with 38 per cent of them saying they will employ more people in the next 12 months. 13 per cent expect to reduce their staff.

"These results are extremely encouraging since we need our exporters to earn far more if the country is to recover income levels, and retain our standard of living.

"New Zealand needs trade, since we can't grow our economy on the back of our small domestic market, and this is why the TPP negotiations this week in Auckland are so important.

"Both CER with Australia and the China FTA have delivered huge benefits to our economy and the TPP has even bigger potential due to the countries involved.

"In fact for New Zealand to succeed, exporting must be made the focus of the whole economy.

"The main barriers to export growth from the survey were reported to be exchange rate volatility, rather than the level of the NZ dollar, market conditions and demand offshore, followed by the price competitiveness of NZ products and services, and a lack of funds to further develop export markets.

"Other key findings were:

  • Once established, the big majority (83 per cent) of exporters keep on exporting.
  • Exporters say they could do with more information about what government assistance is on offer.
  • But 45 per cent of them said they don't need government assistance, and those who do rated New Zealand Trade and Enterprise as 'could do better/must do better.'
  • Assistance is needed, in order of importance, for export market development, market intelligence, R&D and venture capital.
  • Exporters in the survey earned an average of $13.46 million offshore in the past year representing 47.7 per cent of their output.

"The move to enter new overseas markets, some as a result of the financial crisis, is a positive for New Zealand insofar as it could help spread our future country risk," Ms Beard said.

"The regions where exporters have the biggest growth plans are South East Asia, Australia and Europe.

"On the other hand, the lowest levels of export growth are expected in the Pacific Islands and North America. These rate lower than Latin America and Africa.

"Overall exporters' expectation for sales growth in various market regions is most encouraging. They are:

  • SE Asia (eg, Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, Vietnam, Philippines) - 26.82%
  • Australia - 25.65%
  • Europe including UK - 24.35%
  • North Asia (Japan and Korea) - 23.95%
  • China including Hong Kong - 22.03%
  • Middle East - 15.45%
  • Latin America - 15.15%
  • Africa - 13.37%
  • North America - 12.91%
  • Pacific Islands - 9.41%


Catherine Beard
Executive Director of ExportNZ
Phone 04 496 6560 or mobile 0274 633 212


ExportNZ undertook the Export Outlook survey to identify perceived and real barriers to exporting and assess exporters' confidence and growth prospects.

Respondents consisted of manufacturers (64%) transport, engineering, education services and the like (23%) and primary agriculture, forestry or fishing (12%).

The sample contains evidence that New Zealand exporters are more likely to be larger firms since it included more larger respondents (employing 20 – 150 people) than smaller businesses (employing 1- 9 staff). 17% of the sample had between 50-150 staff. Just 10% employed more than 150 staff.

ExportNZ is a division of BusinessNZ; in Auckland, a division of the Employers and Manufacturers Association (EMA).

Issued by Gilbert Peterson, EMA, phone 09 367 0916, mobile 027 494 9629