The latest yearly overseas trade figures to December 2016, showing two consecutive annual falls in the value of New Zealand’s exports, shows the Government is still failing to provide the leadership necessary to diversify our economy, says Labour’s Trade and Export Growth spokesperson David Clark.
“Nearly a billion dollars was wiped off the value of New Zealand’s meat exports in 2016, leading to another $3 billion deficit in annual trade.
“This simply isn’t good enough. National has refused to adequately support sustainable growth across a range of sectors and is instead relying unfairly on farmers who are already doing all they can to ensure productive export business growth. This is increasing New Zealand’s risk of vulnerability to changes in international markets.
“The data released today shows a worrying downturn in productivity – we’re exporting more product but getting lower returns on our exports.
“And it could’ve been worse, as the annual trade deficit of $3.2 billion was only helped by lower oil prices. National’s economic management exposes New Zealand to a risk of rising oil prices and falling agricultural export prices.
“A future Labour government that will make the economy resilient and diversified. We will shift the focus from volume to value, and we will ensure the regions are supported against the rise and fall of commodity markets.
“It is about the future of work and creating a new stronger and fairer economy built on a strong base of exports,” says Dr Clark