A new report says would-be exporters need better knowledge of international markets and need to learn how to build relationships if New Zealand wants to substantially lift its export earnings.
The Government wants to increase the contribution of exports to the economy from 30% of GDP to 40% by 2025.
A studyby Massey University's Centre for Small and Medium Enterprise Research looked into why fewer than one in five New Zealand businesses export; businesspeople in the manufacturing and service sectors were interviewed.
Centre director David Deakins, who is also the report's lead author, says the high New Zealand dollar is one barrier for would-be exporters but there are many more issues than that.
Exporters really need to understand the market they're going into, he says. "Quite often it needs considerable investment in having people on the ground," he says, "and ensuring a good sales distributuion network which they can build on."
Professor Deakins says firms also need to take a long-term approach to exporting.