20 Jun 2011

NZ and Australian firms could 'benefit' from strong dollar

8:48 pm on 20 June 2011

New Zealand Trade and Enterprise says a strong Australian currency could prompt firms across the Tasman to consider working with New Zealand rivals to compete in Asia.

The Australian dollar is about US1.06 cents, causing angst in the manufacturing and tourism sectors.

Despite a recent contraction in activity due to bad weather, Australia's economy is expected to blossom over the next decade, driven by China's demand for iron ore and coal.

NZTE's regional director for Australia, Michelle Templar, says lower wages and a hi-tech manufacturing sector mean New Zealand firms should aim to work in partnership with Australian rivals to develop third markets.

There are about 1000 New Zealand firms in Australia. NZTE works actively with about 200.