In 2008, the Government set its goal to increase exports to 40 percent of GDP.
At that time, New Zealand’s exports were 30 percent of GDP, or $17.8 billion
below the target level. Global trade felt the full impact of the global
recession the following year. The OECD reports that global trade fell 12.5
percent in 2009.5 New Zealand’s exports were affected but recovered in 2010 to
nearly the same value as in 2008.6
Figure 1 shows that since 1990, New Zealand’s exports peaked at 35 percent of GDP in 2001.
This suggests that New Zealand’s export sector will need to change and grow to reach the
Figure 1: New Zealand’s exports 1990-2010, Percentage of GDP