chapter  15
16 Pages

Assessing the International Competitiveness of the New Zealand Food Sector

WithRalph G. Lattimore

The international competitiveness of the agricultural marketing system is difficult to assess and quite controversial. The agricultural sector is somewhat larger than in other industrialised countries, represent in garound 6 percent of gross domestic product, but with agricultural input supply and agricultural processing industries contributing another 6 percent. The pragmatic traits of New Zealand culture and institutional development have produced valuable targeted technological developments in diverse agricultural enterprises, including dairy and pastoral farming, apples, kiwifruit and other fruit and vegetables, deer, goats, and racehorses. New Zealand appears to have a strong comparative advantage in selected agricultural products — especially livestock and horticultural products. Agricultural exports per capita are high by world standards, particularly prominent are processed products, meat, dairy products, and wool. The New Zealand economy was closely tied to the United Kingdom through trade, foreign borrowing, corporate linkages, and immigration.