New Services Group to enhance trade opportunity

Todd McClay

Wellington, June 10, 2017

I announced the establishment of the Services Export Reference Group at a press conference to launch an OECD study in Paris today highlighting the significant opportunity services exports offer the New Zealand economy.

Services account for 70% of our GDP, 80 per cent of New Zealand jobs and 31% of our exports.

It is therefore imperative that we work closely with the services sector to bring down barriers and help them find greater success in overseas markets.

Extensive participation

I have invited 40 New Zealand services exporters and industry groups to join the reference group including from the healthcare, tech, R&D, entertainment and hospitality sectors.

In 2016, services exports increased by $1.1 billion to $21.6 billion.

That was almost a third of all New Zealand exports.

It is therefore important that we nurture and support further growth.

Growth opportunities

There are huge global growth opportunities for services exports and the digital economy, and the Government’s working hard to ensure that our exporters are in a strong position to take advantage of them.

The OECD’s Services Trade Policies and the Global Economy study points out that services generate two-thirds of global GDP and concludes that better integration between countries can substantially reduce the administrative burden on our exporters and SMEs. That is an outcome the Government continues to advocate and fight for on behalf of our exporter.

New Trade Strategy

As part of Trade Agenda 2030, our new trade strategy, the Government is committed to engaging more with New Zealanders and New Zealand businesses on trade.

The reference group is an important part of our plans to grow trade and maximise the benefits of the increasing market access we are working so hard to achieve.

The first meeting will be held on June 20, hosted by the Auckland University of Technology.

Todd McClay is Trade Minister of New Zealand.

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