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Trade future not all doom and gloom: PwC

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 17/11/2016

New Zealand's trade relationship with the US may now be up in the air, but businesses leaders around the world are telling a story that could be good news for our exporters, finance firm PwC says.

The company has just released its survey of 1100 CEOs from the 21 APEC economies in the lead-up to the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Lima this week.

It found in the long-term 69 per cent of increased business investment is expected to stay within APEC countries, with China, the US, Singapore and Indonesia are set to attract the most.

Over half of businesses in the survey also said they planned to increased their overseas investment, despite reporting concerns about the broader economic outlook and disappointment with progress on free trade.

PwC Treasury Advisory's Roger Kerr said while New Zealand's trade relationship with the US was now in the air following November's presidential election, exporters faced higher risk, the the survey showed consequences could be less serious than believed.

"Early indications are that trade policies will suffer from a more inwards looking Trump administration and New Zealand businesses exporting to the US will want to watch this space very careful," he said.

"However, I wouldn't worry too much just yet. To put our current growth prospects into perspective, the New Zealand findings in the last Annual CEO Survey showed that local CEOs think Australia will still be their most important trading partner, followed by China and then the US."

He said the survey revealed APEC businesses leaders were still looking towards growth in China, despite concerns the world's second biggest economy would be slowing down.

"This could turn into an opportunity with even greater benefit for New Zealand," he said.

"China is transitioning the focus of its economic growth from infrastructure capital spending to more consumer-based products and this is good news as well as a low risk option for New Zealand."

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