IT exports catching up with imports, report shows

New Zealand imports of IT hardware are still greater than our exports but the trend shows imports falling and exports increasing, according to the latest statistics on IT in New Zealand.

New Zealand imports of IT hardware are still greater than our exports but the trend shows imports falling and exports increasing, according to the latest statistics on IT in New Zealand.

A report by the IT Policy Unit of the Ministry of Commerce shows that according to Customs figures, last year saw a decline in overall IT imports of 7% to $1.7 billion, resulting from a fall in imports in both computer hardware and parts and wireless communications hardware categories.

Only in the telecommunications hardware category was there any growth in 1996 — 2%.

The bulk of New Zealand’s IT hardware imports continue to come from Asia and the US, despite a decline in imports from both areas in 1996. IT hardware imports from Asia fell by 10% from their 1995 level and imports from America were down 8%. Imports from Europe also declined by 7%, while imports from Australia and the rest of the world increased.

The 1996 year shows a continuation of the sustained increase in export value that has occurred over this period. The growth has some strong rises in exports of wireless communications hardware (a 16% increase in 1996, following no growth in 1995) and computer hardware and parts (a 37% increase in 1996, following a 5% increase in 1995). After decreases in 1991 and 1992, exports of telecommunications equipment increased from 1993 through to 1995, before decreasing in 1996 by 45%.

The export of computer hardware and parts increased steadily by 1992, then more than doubled from $10 million to $21 million in 1994. Following slow growth in 1995, 1996 was a year of strong growth of 68% to $37 million.In 1996, exports to North America and Australia fell by 47% and 23% respectively, while exports to Europe and the rest of the world increased by 10% respectively.

A joint survey by ITANZ, Tradenz, the Ministry of Commerce and Statistics New Zealand, now in its third year, showed that software and computer services exports were $121.7 million in the 1996 financial year, a 19.8% increase from the 1995 figure of $101.6 million.

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