2014 Trade and Investment Profile
Situated on the Pacific Ocean, New Zealand is comprised of the North Island and the South Island, flanked by many small ones on its vestiges. Its neighbours include little known atolls like Tonga and New Caledonia. Once isolated amidst the Pacific blue, New Zealand is now a prominent engraving in the colorful frieze of globalisation.
Over the last 25 years our economy has gone from being one of the most regulated in the OECD to one of the least regulated. This transformation from an agrarian economy dependent on concessionary British market access to a more industrialised, free market economy that can compete globally.
Fertile soil and excellent growing conditions coupled with sophisticated farming methods and advanced agricultural technology provide the ideal environment for pastoral, forestry and horticulture activities. Agricultural commodities account for around half of all goods exports, and New Zealand is one of the top five dairy exporters in the world.
Complementing highly efficient agricultural sector are sizable manufacturing and service sectors and growing high-tech capabilities.
External trade is of fundamental importance to New Zealand. Primary sector-based exports and commodities remain important sources of export receipts, while exports of services and manufactured products also provide a significant contribution. This, together with a reliance on imports of intermediate goods and capital equipment for industry, makes New Zealand strongly trade-oriented.
But as with most export oriented economies New Zealand remains vulnerable to weak external demand. Consequenly, the government plans to raise productivity growth and develop infrastructure, while reining in government spending.
New Zealand’s regulations governing foreign investment are liberal by international standards as New Zealand maintains targeted foreign investment restrictions in only a few areas of critical interest.
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