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New Trade Flow Measures provide Message to Government

Media Release

17 January 2013

New Trade Flow Measures provide Message to Government

The just-released OECD – WTO trade flow database has significant implications for government trade policy in New Zealand according to the New Zealand Chambers of Commerce Inc (NZCCI).

“This new way of looking at trade flows emphasises the importance of international supply chains rather than gross cross-border trade as traditional measures do,” said NZCCI Director Michael Barnett.

“The findings emphasise the importance of imports as a business input. They also show that the contribution of services to trade flows has been understated.

“Government trade policy needs to recognise that the internationalisation of New Zealand business is not just about increasing exports but is about increasing international activity generally. This means increasing two-way trade as well as cross border investment and migration.

“The services sector is an important part of this and government policy needs to focus as much on achieving high quality outcomes in non-agricultural goods and services as it does on agriculture.

“Imports should not be seen as a dirty word. They are an important component of business and exports and import barriers are just another cost to internationally focussed New Zealand businesses.

“The database shows that about a third of imported intermediate inputs are used to produce goods and services that are exported.

“Trade Minister Groser should be congratulated for his role in supporting the production of these statistics and this fresh way of viewing trade flows,” Mr Barnett concluded.

ends

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