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Growing Importance Of Services Exports

22 June 2006

Latest Balance Of Payments Figures Highlight Growing Importance Of Services Exports

Press release – Wellington Regional Chamber of Commerce

The Balance of payments and International Investment Position statistics released today by the Government highlight the growing importance of New Zealand’s services sector as a source of export earnings. Services exports in the year ending March 2006 have exceeded $12 billion and represent close to 28% of total exports.

“Aside from demonstrating a continuing deterioration in the current account deficit – which has increased from 7.4% of GDP in the year ending March 2005 to 9.3% of GDP in the year ending March 2006 – the statistics really highlight the growing importance of our services exports. These now stand at $12.094 billion for the year ended March 2006. As a proportion of total exports, services now account for 27.78% of exports,” said Charles Finny, Chamber CEO.

“The size of the current account deficit is an increasing concern for the Chamber. It suggests that our dollar is still overvalued. The figures also show that we need to be exporting more, and that we are going to have to do better at investing in offshore,” he added.

“The growing importance of the services sector also highlights the need to have this sector at the centre of New Zealand objectives in our trade negotiations and trade promotion activities. Global liberalisation of the services sector should be one of our highest priorities in the WTO Doha Round. It is also essential that we achieve good outcomes for the services sector in our bilateral and regional FTA negotiations,” Charles Finny concluded.

ENDS

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