Government’s new trade strategy helps horticulture

27 Mar 2017

Parliament House Beehive Bowen House Wellington

Last Friday, the Government released its new trade strategy, Trade Agenda 2030.  This is a comprehensive and thoughtful strategy that will enable horticulture growth through its focus on:

- Maximising the benefits from the existing free trade agreements, with a particular focus on removing non-tariff barriers which are a significant impediment to exports; the strategy notes that there has been a detrimental 74% increase in non-tariff barriers from 2004 to 2015

- Helping exporters succeed – as the strategy puts it, moving exporters from ‘market access to market success’.

In the two years from June 2014, horticultural exports grew in value by 40%.  Horticulture is one of the fastest growing export sectors in New Zealand.  Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) implementation is going to move New Zealand’s focus away from dairy and onto horticulture and trees. Therefore, we need to develop markets for horticulture. This includes high-quality free trade agreements with the United States, United Kingdom, Japan and the European Union.  I believe the policy needs strengthening in this area, recognising horticulture’s future role.

Assisting small, medium (SME) and emerging exporters needs to have more focus in the policy as well. Established exporters have been well served by New Zealand Trade and Enterprise, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade and Ministry for Primary Industries – now it is time to focus on the emerging and SME exporters, as these are the exporters that will grow our offshore markets, especially as dairy exports drop back. 

We are looking forward to working with the government to help the emerging and SME exporters to secure New Zealand’s economic future.

- Mike Chapman, CEO