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Potential for Wellington Economy in Services Exports

Media Release
22 February 2012

Potential for Wellington Economy in Services Exports

Figures released today providing information on New Zealand’s trade in commercial services and how it is growing should be of great interest to Wellington policy makers as well as its business community according to the Wellington Employers’ Chamber of Commerce

“As well as providing a greater level of detail, the figures show that New Zealand’s exports of commercial services have increased considerably over recent years and now sit at $4.0 billion annually,” said Chamber President Richard Stone.

“Commercial services include information technology, engineering, royalties, management fees, and other business services such as accounting and legal services. 86% of these are exported by phone, internet and email.

“These sectors are very important to Wellington and we see their success as fundamental to the growth of the regional economy. There is also considerable scope to grow Wellington-based services exports and the chamber will be working with businesses and the government to help facilitate this.

“Around 90% of Wellington’s regional GDP is generated by services activity - much higher than the national average - and around 57% of our exports are estimated to come from the services sector.

“Services exports are dominated by tourism, education and transportation but today’s figures show that commercial services exports are growing fast. Importantly, much of the film industry, which is hugely important to Wellington, is not captured in these figures.

“Today’s release is particularly valuable because, for the first time, the statistics are broken down into modes of supply, that is whether the services are consumed locally by international visitors, supplied across borders by the Internet, email, or phone or supplied by New Zealand employees and subsidiaries based off shore.

“We will be pushing for the services sector to become more prominent in the government’s policy agenda particularly in the negotiation of free trade agreements and in the WTO and today’s figures will be of great assistance. The figures also confirm the importance of broadband to Wellington,” Mr Stone concluded.


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