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Magic 10 Billion Dollar Mark Passed And Climbing

13 June 2000


Figures for the year ended March show growth in manufactured exports of over 12% for the period, with their value topping the ten billion dollar mark for the first time.

“This is good news for the sector”, said David Moloney, President of the New Zealand Manufacturers Federation. “It clearly identifies the increasing importance of manufacturing to job growth and the economy generally.”

“A major bright spark in the current climate is that value added manufactured exports or ETMs (Elaborately Transformed Manufactures) now constitute over 30% of all exports. Over the past ten years ETM exports have grown by a robust 140%. By comparison primary sector exports have grown by only 37%. If basic manufactured products are added, then the sector is responsible for close on 44% of all exports.

The transition from an economy solely dependent on agriculture for export earnings has been remarkable. In 1960 only 2% of exports came from the manufacturing sector. That contribution has since grown to 44%. Moreover, the manufacturing sector is expected to grow further, given the prospect of slow long term growth in primary exports and ongoing strong growth in manufactured exports. Over the last 10 years this growth has averaged 7.3% per annum, well over double New Zealand’s overall growth rate.

Even more remarkable is the strong growth in exports from the so-called high tech sector, which now contributes 10% of total export earnings. They have grown from $897 million in 1990 to $2351 million in the year to March 2000 – an increase of 162%. There are good prospects for further strong export growth. Industry sectors contributing to this growth include electrical and electronic equipment, industrial machinery and automotive components.

“We are now in a serious upturn, after a slowing in export growth over 1998/99. How sustainable this growth proves to be will be dependent on the degree to which the New Zealand economy remains globally competitive. Evidence that this is the Government’s key priority would go a long way towards dispelling the considerable uncertainty currently shared by manufacturers.”

Contact: David Moloney 04 388 8355 (bus) - 04 479 6230 (pvt)
Peter Crawford 04 496 2813 (bus) – 04 389 8945 (pvt)

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