20 Mar 2013

Value of exports of high-tech goods rises 4%

9:31 am on 20 March 2013

Exports of high-tech goods and services from New Zealand have grown over the last two years to be valued at more than $1 billion in 2012.

Official figures show exports of high-tech goods were worth $1.6 billion last year, an increase of 4% on 2010.

One third of that amount came from sales of electronic components and devices, which include whiteware goods and medical devices.

The body that represents companies in the information, communication and technology sector, NZICT, says it is the fastest growing industry in terms of contribution to the country's gross domestic product.

IT design, consulting and development services are the country's biggest service sector export in the Information and Communication Technology category, making up one in every five New Zealand information, communication and technology export dollars.

NZICT chief executive Candace Kinser says it has the potential to overtake agriculture and tourism as the country's top industry.

She says it's fastest growing industry in New Zealand and in the next five to seven years it would be good to see it as the number one contributor to GDP and the economy.

Ms Kinser says technology firms have high growth potential.

"When you write software you theoretically just need your base level of software engineers or your developers and you need to print additional licences. Printing one licence or 10,000 licences doesn't necessarily require more engineers."

Ms Kinser says the 4% growth experienced is phenomenal particularly in light of a global recession and the state of the New Zealand dollar.

She says significant challenges still face the industry including ensuring ultra-fast connections to the rest of the world.