China’s pro­tein needs good for New Zealand

South Waikato News - - RURAL DELIVEY -

If there is a sec­ond global re­ces­sion New Zealand should come out all right thanks to our agri­cul­ture pro­duc­ers, BNZ agribusi­ness econ­o­mist Doug Steel says.

‘‘It’s not a global re­ces­sion yet but Europe is in re­ces­sion and the United States is strug­gling. Uncer­tainty is as high as ever but New Zealand is hold­ing up. We’re still mak­ing the right stuff and peo­ple are buy­ing our stuff at the right prices,’’ Mr Steel told a ru­ral busi­ness sem­i­nar in Mor­rinsville. The Euro­pean re­ces­sion’s im­pact was not ex­pected to be too great for New Zealand be­cause well over half New Zealand’s exports went to Asia and Aus­tralia, he said.

Food prices might come down in the short-term but in the medi­umterm they were ex­pected to be struc­turally higher.

In the year to June 2011, 40 per cent of New Zealand exports went to Asia, 22 per cent to Aus­tralia, 12 per cent to Europe and 9 per cent to the US.

‘‘China is still the main game in the world for what we’re mak­ing. China’s growth is ex­pected to dou­ble in eight to 10 years’ time. That’s an enor­mous op­por­tu­nity for New Zealand,’’ Mr Steel said.

KPMG head of agribusi­ness Ian Proud­foot said New Zealand should take ad­van­tage of China’s pro­tein de­mand.

Sus­tain­abil­ity was a top pri­or­ity for China, and New Zealand should work col­lab­o­ra­tively to­wards a sin­gle stan­dard of sus­tain­abil­ity, backed by sci­ence, he said. New Zealand should also fo­cus on in­no­va­tion, an area of un­der-in­vest­ment since the 1970s. The key was to move away from the ‘‘eureka mo­ments’’ to en­sure an in­no­va­tion pipe­line.

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