National sets bold target for export growth

The New Zealand National Party

National will set an ambitious target to double the value of exports in ten years to help rebuild the economy so all New Zealanders can get ahead, National’s Trade spokesperson Todd McClay says.

“Trade underpins New Zealand’s economy, and the standard of living for every one of us depends on it.

“The more we sell to the world, the better off we will be at home, and New Zealand will be able to afford more of the public services – from highways to hospitals – on which we all rely.

“However, right now New Zealand has a $16 billion trade deficit and the second worst current account deficit in the developed world relative to GDP, behind only Greece.

“A National government will work tirelessly to promote New Zealand exports and dismantle trade barriers that make it difficult for New Zealanders to sell their high-quality produce, goods and services overseas.

“We know the prize is large. For example, New Zealand’s exports to China, the world’s second largest economy, have increased seven-fold since the Free Trade Agreement between our two countries signed in 2008. China is now New Zealand’s largest trading partner, with annual two-way trade valued at more than $40 billion.

“By contrast, despite India being on its way to becoming the world’s third largest economy, Labour has dropped the ball on developing this relationship and trade between our two countries has declined since 2017. National will make increasing trade and investment with India a priority.

“Over the next decade, National will measure the success of our trade policy in the value of exports, not simply by how many new trade agreements we sign.”

National will:

  • Set an ambitious target to double the value of exports including from agriculture and forestry, services, international education, technology and tourism within ten years.
  • Pursue quality Free Trade Agreements to increase access to foreign markets
  • Conduct a record number of trade missions to open doors for New Zealand exporters.
  • Make India a strategic priority for increased trade and investment.

“Strengthening New Zealand’s connections with the rest of the world is one of the six key drivers of growth that National has identified to rebuild the economy and bring down the cost of living.

“National will also stop wasteful government spending, get the books back in order, deliver tax relief to encourage hard work and to ease the cost-of-living crisis, cut red tape to make it easier to invest and grow, build infrastructure for growth like roads, public transport and renewable energy, and grow skills and attract talent to boost productivity.

“New Zealanders are going backwards under Labour. A party vote for National at this election is a vote to increase trade, to strengthen international connections and to rebuild the economy so we all get ahead.”

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