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Exporters tackling challenges of growth offshore

Exporters tackling challenges of growth offshore

Three quarters of managers surveyed on their plans for export growth, and the obstacles they're facing, say they intend increasing their sales offshore, in spite of the high dollar and their acknowledged need to upgrade their skills to do so.

One of the 250 participants said 'obstacles are for climbing', a comment which seems to capture the spirit of our exporters, said Andy Hamilton, chief executive of The Icehouse which carried out the survey on behalf of the Employers & Manufacturers Association (Northern)

EMA and The ICEHOUSE are collaborating with the University of Auckland Business School on a research project to uncover obstacles to exporting. A comprehensive account of the survey's results will be reported at the Go Global Summit this Friday, February 27th by Icehouse chair David Irving.

"Though our survey specifically excluded the exchange rate as an obstacle to further export growth nonetheless 10 per cent of respondents mentioned it anyway," Mr Hamilton said.

"They note its importance to competitiveness must be acknowledged.

"A significant number noted that the effect of media comment overseas on their business is important though it can be negative (English language schools) or positive (Lord of the Rings).

"The majority of respondents intend to increase their exports, with 90% or more seeking to grow their business.

"The routes they're choosing for expansion primarily focus on increasing the number of countries that the business exports to (55%), and growth through partnerships and alliances (25%).

"Key obstacles to the growth of exports included:

* Export market knowledge, including regulatory requirements for target countries;

* Effective contacts and networks for market access overseas;

* Lack of capital for market entry along with handling rapid production growth that may result;

* Competitiveness against host country competitors with their local market knowledge;

* Human resource issues including higher costs of NZ manufacture, and scarcity of technical skills; and

* Government support on the level of local compliance costs and the trade support other countries provide their exporters.

"Many participants will be looking to the GO GLOBAL programme to focus their capital and skills to maintain their growth."

© Scoop Media

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