New research suggests New Zealand needs to target migrants from developing countries to tap into trade opportunities it is missing out on.
In a paper on trade and migration, the New Zealand Institute of Economic Research says New Zealand is targeting the wrong sort of migrants.
Its research shows if New Zealand receives 10% more migrants from a particular country, exports to that country grow by 0.6% and imports from it by 1.9%.
NZIER chief executive Jean-Pierre de Raad says New Zealand should be tapping migrants from developing countries, who don't speak English as a first language.
He says migrants stimulate trade because they understand their home countries better than New Zealand, and still do business with their country of origin.
Jean-Pierre de Raad says focusing on people who live and work overseas has less of an effect on stimulating trade and migration policy should focus on trade benefits, rather than skills.