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Broad Based Union Must Deliver Export Solutions.

Media Release 29 May 2008.

Broad Based Union Must Deliver Export Solutions.

The New Zealand Manufacturers and Exporters Association (NZMEA), is calling on the new alliance between Business NZ and Export NZ to provide a clear message for the Government as to the pressure that exporters are under, and the policy changes necessary for growth in tradeables, particularly the interaction of monetary policy, interest rates and exchange rates.

Clear messaging and policy changes are necessary as demonstrated by the coincident announcements from Fisher and Paykel regarding a profit drop, and from Kumfs which is cutting 24 jobs from its local factory.

“There must be a serious concern for the viability of New Zealand’s external economy when firm after firm cites exchange rates as a key reason for downgrading its locally based manufacturing capability offshore; there has to be more than the current response from Government that the loss is “inevitable”, says Chief Executive John Walley.

Mr. Walley says that such ‘inevitability’ is the result of policy settings that do nothing to support local activity.

“The loss is not inevitable, but if the Government receives vague and mixed messages from business organisations that claim to speak for the tradeable sector it will continue to pick and choose policies convenient to short term political agenda, rather than providing a workable and sustainable framework for exporters”.

The NZMEA says that mixed member associations have somewhat belatedly recognised the impact that exchange rates are having on tradeables and have even gone as far as to acknowledge that the high OCR is doing more harm than good. However, they have failed to offer much in the way of practical solutions as they are also forced to represent the interests of importers and sectors of the domestic economy that are benefiting from an overvalued exchange rate.

“We hope that any new alliance has constituency or the courage to speak clearly for the needs of exporters, to press for change on monetary policy, recognise the futility of ‘internationalisation’ and find a way to build an export lead future”.

NZMEA – the authentic and independent voice for manufacturers and exporters.


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