26 Oct 2014

Ebola's impact on economy 'negligible'

6:51 am on 26 October 2014

Export New Zealand says the economy is unlikely to suffer because of Ebola, despite fears from this country's biggest company.

Fonterra chairman John Wilson, left, and chief executive Theo Spierings.

Fonterra chairman John Wilson, left, and chief executive Theo Spierings speak to media in Auckland in November 2014. Photo: RNZ / Kim Baker Wilson

Fonterra has estimated it could lose $150 million in sales in West Africa because of the epidemic.

Its chief executive, Theo Spierings, has said he is quite worried about the virus because it was not under control.

Catherine Beard

Catherine Beard Photo: Business New Zealand

Export New Zealand executive director Catherine Beard said the dairy co-operative was the country's biggest exporter to West Africa.

"So in terms of the New Zealand economy, probably negligible effect. Obviously for individual exporters who are exporting there, it will be something they will be watching carefully, but in terms of the overall New Zealand economy, possibly not such a big issue."

But Ms Beard said no-one knew exactly how many other countries could yet be affected.

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