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Wednesday, 23 June 2010

Surface Trade

An update which I received from the II-EI in Phoenix, Arizona earlier this month had a heading which grabbed my attention.  It read:

March 2010 Surface Trade with Canada and Mexico Rose 37.0 Percent from March 2009

It was the phrase surface trade which did the grabbing!  Of course it means trade using surface transportation between the US and its NAFTA partners.   I realised that New Zealand doesn't have surface trade to anywhere becasue we aren't connected to any other landmass!   Well not until there is a bridge to Australia which is our major export partner - it could be called the CER Bridge.   That's Closer Economic Relations for readers not in Australia or New Zealand and was the title of the Free Trade Agreement between the two countries signed in 1983. 

Monday, 21 June 2010

The devaluation of "export" in advertising, or is it fair enough?

Have you seen advertising which includes the word 'export' where its use is meant to endorse the value of the product or service?  The star shape is often used - presumably to enhance the quality message.

Or have you seen the word 'export' used as an adjective on an actual product or on its packaging?  Another variation you may have come across is 'Returned export order' or 'Surplus to export order'.

Do we ever pause to think what this use of 'export' means?   Does it devalue real exports?   Are we taken in by these uses of the word 'export' because we think that exports are always the top quality, the best our country can produce?  Maybe they are and therefore we are not taken in ?
Who assesses export quality?   Is there a generally applied meaning for this which is - 'of the highest quality' - as it applies to individual products?   Or is it simply loose use of language to dupe the consumer?

What do you think?   Is there a case to answer for the deliberate misuse of the word 'export' or is it fair enough?

Thursday, 17 June 2010

How does manufacturing measure up?

If you are a manufacturer and an exporter, you may be interested in a new report called Management Matters in New Zealand.   It shares the results of a project which benchmarked management practices in New Zealand manufacturing firms against global standards.
It goes without saying that if companies are not managed effectively this affects every aspect of production through to export delivery.
The report has been published as a pdf on the Ministry of Economic development website and you can access it through ELIScat - click on this URL:

If you need to get started with benchmarking, look at the New Zealand School of Export's website at:

Friday, 4 June 2010

Russia New Zealand FTA


Did you see this announcement on the Beehive website about the beginning of discussions for a bilateral agreement between Russia and New Zealand?

An article in the Dominion  Post newspaper this morning suggested that such a deal would pave the way for Russia to join Asia-Pacific trade arrangements.   It also lists trade opprtunities in such product areas as clothing & textiles, foodstuffs & beverages, education and the creative industries.

As with the already signed China Free Trade Agreement, it raises a myriad of questions as to whether New Zealand should enter into such agreements and with which countries.