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2020 was a tough year and economic forecasts suggest that 2021 will also be difficult. In our latest publication, International Trade 2020 – Trends & Insights, we look at how New Zealand is faring – and there are some rays of light on the horizon.
We trace the many effects of the pandemic on trade flows and the government responses around the world and ask whether these will be unwound or whether they will reinforce and accelerate existing trends toward protectionism and introspection.
Although New Zealand had imposed tight anti-Covid border restrictions – devastating two of our largest export industries (tourism and international education) – our goods exports had survived relatively well as had our film and digital sectors. And the Government had kept its eye on the trade ball, engaging in a number of practical initiatives.
New Zealand, as a small economy reliant on the multilateral trading system has a lot riding on which path is taken. But we are not hostages to fate. We have a role to play in the reform of the WTO and in the international debate, and we have the opportunity created by hosting APEC next year, to influence the direction of travel in the Asia-Pacific region.Tracey Epps, Trade Law Consultant