17 Nov 2022

Incremental changes needed to address supply chain issues - NZIER

1:24 pm on 17 November 2022
Container ship

Photo: Massey University

The Institute of Economic Research (NZIER) says New Zealand industries need to continue to make incremental changes to address supply chain issues, particularly as normal international trade resumes.

"New Zealand has dodged an economic bullet," NZIER principal economist and report author Chris Nixon said.

"While we are not celebrating, there at least should be a collective sigh of relief," he said, adding it was no time for complacency given the ongoing pressures in recent years.

He said there had been enormous upheaval in the supply chain, including the trade war between the United States and China, increased consumer demand with the easing of monetary policy, port congestion - particularly in Auckland and the ongoing pandemic.

"This is what New Zealand has had to put up with, yet the value of imports and exports are at all-time highs albeit fuelled by imported inflation.

"This is particularly so for perishable products which require supply chain flexibility."

Ongoing work to improve the supply chain included having independent, trustworthy border-facing agencies, embracing paperless, digital trade opportunities, considering new supply chains with new trades, and reducing waste in the supply chain to mitigate climate impacts, he said.

"Climate change mitigation needs to be addressed, and supply chains need to play their part in mitigating food waste.

"None of this is easy, but we should have the confidence given what we have just been through with Covid."

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