New Zealand is mainly thought of as an agricultural country,
and although the sector contributes just 8% of Gross Domestic Products
and employs less than 10% of the workforce, it accounts for 40%
of the country’s export income primarily from wool, woods,
and meat and dairy products. Barley, fruit, maize and wheat are
the main crops, and fishing is also a substantial part of the industry.
Energy related natural resources, primarily coal but also natural
gas, have been heavily developed. There are also deposits of iron,
silica and gold. From the late 1970’s, a new generation
of industrial enterprises was centred on these natural
resources to replace the declining traditional industries.
Between the 1980’s and 1990’s, New Zealand experienced
one of the most radical economic transformations
of any Western developed country, with wholesale privatization,
the elimination of financial support, tariff barriers and official
regulations, and the dismantling of many welfare systems (although
as the government tackles the pension crisis spending has risen
sharply, afflicting the more developed world). The alterations have
also changed New Zealand’s dependency on foreign trade.
Recent economic performance has seen a halving of annual growth
to approximately 2.6% in 2003, mainly due to a fall in agricultural
exports. Inflation fell from 2.7% in 2002 to 1.8% in 2003. Unemployment
has steadily kept around the 5% mark for several years,
however much of it is concentrated in particular areas, which is
the main cause of the unemployment problems.
Australia is New Zealand’s main trading partner,
there is a free trading agreement between the 2 countries. The United
Kingdom, Japan, and the United States of America are New Zealand’s
other major trading partners. New Zealand is a member of the Organisation
for Economic Co operation and Development (OECD, the international
forum for the world’s main industrialised economies), the
recently established Asian Pacific Economic Co operation (APEC)
forum, and the South Pacific Forum (which aims to promote economic
co operation in the region).
Business wear is generally conservative and both men and
women tend to wear tailored suits. Appointments and punctuality
are necessary, and business cards are usually exchanged. The best
months for business visits are February to April and also October
to November , as the business approach is fairly traditional, and
visitors to New Zealand are advised to avoid the period
starting Christmas time until the end of January.
Office opening hours are Monday to Friday, 9.00am
The following association can offer advice:
Address: Wellington Chamber of Commerce and Industry, PO Box 1590,
Level 9, 109 Featherson Street, Wellington
Telephone: (4) 914 6500
Facsimile: (4) 914 6524
Website address: www.wgtn-chamber.co.nz
The largest conference and convention centers are in Christchurch,
Auckland, and Wellington, however many hotels also have conference
facilities. There are over 20 regional convention bureaux
in New Zealand, the majority of which are members of:
Address: NZ Convention Association (Inc), PO Box 331-202, Suite
3, Level 1, 15 Huron Street, Takapuna, Auckland
Telephone: (9) 486 4128
Facsimile: (9) 486 4126
Note: The organisation is also known as Conventions New Zealand.