Stronger ties with Japan set to yield export growth

by | Sep 20, 2013 | Media Releases

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New Zealand’s economic relationship with Japan could be significantly enhanced by trade negotiations now underway and by the improving economic outlook in Japan, delegates to the fourth Japan New Zealand Partnership Forum are to be told next week.

“If successfully concluded these trade negotiations have the potential to reinvigorate New Zealand’s longstanding economic relationship with Japan,” said NZIBF Chairman, Sir Graeme Harrison.  Sir Graeme is also Chairman of ANZCO Foods, a major exporter to Japan.

Japan’s entry to the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) has the potential to boost New Zealand’s gains from the partnership by 260%, bringing total export gains to up to NZ$5.1 billion by 2025. Export gains from the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) which also includes Japan and New Zealand are likely to be significant, at around NZ$3.3 billion.

These figures are highlighted in background research prepared for delegates to the Partnership Forum by the NZ Institute for Economic Research (NZIER) using modelling undertaken at the East West Center in Honolulu.

“Japan is a major bilateral and regional partner of New Zealand and one of our anchor trading relationships. Japan remains New Zealand’s fourth-largest trading partner, with two-way trade totalling over NZ$6.2 billion in 2012.

“In recent years trade with Japan has not grown as fast as previously. Both Japan and New Zealand have lost market share in each others’ countries. As Japan emerges from economic uncertainty, trade with Japan holds massive opportunities for New Zealand businesses, especially in food, tourism and education.  We can’t afford to forget about the opportunities Japan offers us,” Sir Graeme said.

Japan is currently New Zealand’s fourth largest investor, our fifth largest market for commercial services and our fifth largest source of tourists. More than 10,000 Japanese international students were studying in New Zealand in 2012, making Japan our fourth largest market for international students.

The fourth Japan New Zealand Partnership Forum, organised by NZIBF, will be held in Tokyo on 25-26 September 2013. It will be co-chaired by Mr Yoshihiko Miyauchi, Chairman and CEO of ORIX, and by Sir Maarten Wevers, former Head of the Prime Minister’s Department and former Ambassador to Japan. Senior business representatives from New Zealand and Japan will continue their discussion about ways to build a stronger partnership between the two countries.

Under the theme “Japan and New Zealand ? a partnership for growth”, the Forum will be addressed by the Japanese Minister for Economic Revitalization, HE Akira Amari and New Zealand Trade Minister Hon Tim Groser.

The background research was commissioned by NZIBF to advise delegates of the current state of the economic relationship and its potential for the future.

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