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Report On Opportunities And Need For Change

23 October 2001

Textile, Clothing And Footwear Report Highlights Opportunities And Need For Change

A report on the New Zealand textile, clothing and footwear industry which highlights development opportunities in the industry, but also the need to adapt to take advantage of them, was released by Industry New Zealand today.

The Industry New Zealand-commissioned report, Breaking with past patterns of uncompetitive behaviour, was presented to representatives of the industry last week at a meeting at Vogel House, Lower Hutt. The meeting was chaired by the Minister for Industry and Regional Development, Jim Anderton, and attended by the Minister of Commerce, Paul Swain.

At the meeting the industry discussed issues facing the industry and the way forward.

The report was researched and prepared by economic development specialists Burleigh Evatt and NZIER.

Ministers and government officials from Industry New Zealand and the Ministry of Economic Development are continuing to consult with the industry to create an industry-government partnership.

“The textile, clothing and footwear industry is a significant part of New Zealand’s economy with annual exports of $520 million, employing more than 27,000 people,” said Industry New Zealand Chief Executive Neil Mackay.

“This report identifies the need for change and sets out a role for Industry New Zealand and government in helping the industry make those changes,” he said.

“What is clear is that significant parts of the New Zealand industry have great growth potential helped by a projected 50 percent leap in the global trade of textiles, including clothing, over the next 4-5 years.”

The report highlights:

- The industry’s export opportunities,

- The need to adapt to take advantage of these opportunities and

- Barriers to growth including:

- lack of size of businesses

- the shortage of trained and motivated staff and managerial skills

- a low opinion of export competitiveness and

- a lack of key information.

It identifies roles for government agencies, including Industry New Zealand, in improving co-operation and understanding, for example of customer needs, relative competitive positions and supply chain management.

The report says there are some industry bright spots in mid-to-high end women’s fashion, industrial work wear, uniforms and outdoor sports and leisure wear. The industry also has a reputation for quality, quick delivery and reliable service.

[The report is on the Industry New Zealand website – www.industrynz.govt.nz]

Ends

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