New research emphasises importance of US-NZ trade

With the 2013 Pacific Partnership Forum just days away from opening, new research has been released reinforcing the importance of the United States as a trading partner for New Zealand.

The research, commissioned by the NZ US Council was conducted by the New Zealand Institute of Economic Research and analyses the economic and trade relations between the US and NZ.

“The research shows that New Zealand and the United States have a broad economic relationship that covers trade in goods, services, including digital and IT services, people-to-people links including tourism and education, and investment,” said Stephen Jacobi, Executive Director of the NZUS Council.

The US is our third largest export market, with demand increasing in 2012 as the accounted for 9.2% of total exports whilst providing 9.3% of NZ imports.

“New Zealand’s share of American imports has declined as has the United States share of New Zealand imports.  New Zealand provides 0.15% of American imports down from 0.26% in 1991.”

Over 800 domestic firms exported $1.1 billion of commercial services to the US in 2011, covering sectors such as IT, audio visual, consulting and engineering

Of particular interest is the rise in revenue from TV and film production sectors sales. Figures reached $458 million in 2012 – an increase of 57% since 2009.

The United States remains a key investment partner, with an investment stock in New Zealand of $44 billion, or 14.5% of total foreign investment stock.

“Even so, there are signs that over time New Zealand and the United States risk becoming less important economically to each other,” said Jacobi. “This underscores the importance of TPP and the boost it will give to two way trade and investment.”

The NZIER research concludes that the TPP offers a chance for New Zealand and US firms to reinvigorate bilateral linkages and work together in third markets.

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