Usage and utility of export information: Perceptions of active exporters in the New Zealand seafood sector
Knight, John G
How should governments assist exporters most effectively? Review of the international literature reveals that official sources of information are generally held in low regard by exporters. There is a consensus that experiential knowledge gained by exporters themselves through visiting foreign markets, cannot be effectively substituted for by consultants – either governmental or commercial. Despite these well-established findings, government export promotion. orgainzations in many countries continue to focus their efforts on provision of export information. New Zealand is no exception in this regard, but in pursuit of free market philosophy the country has gone further than most in instituting "user pays" charges for government export assistance services. The perceived relevance, importance and usefulness of government-provided export information to New Zealand exporting firms in the seafood sector are investigated in this study. Problems facing active exporters are identified, and their suggestions for improving the way in which government agencies try to help them maximize export returns are reported. This thesis reviews the international literature regarding export problems, export information, and determination of the nature and effectiveness of government export promotion and assistance programs. Findings derived from in-depth interviews with active seafood exporters are reported, and these findings are related to the international literature. The main findings are: Currency fluctuation identified by New Zealand seafood exporters as the most serious problem needing addressing by government. Obtaining of adequate export information is not seen as a major problem by most seafood exporters. Trade new Zealand appears to have moved away from the type of service that is identified both by seafood exporters and by the international literature as the most useful (facilitation of experimental knowledge) and towards the type of service that is identified as the least useful (provision of institutional information). Undercutting prices of other new Zealand markets is identified as a practice that is limiting the returns that New Zealand could obtain for its scarce seafood resource. Non-tariff barriers continue to be a significant economic burden to this sector. Policy recommendations concerning these findings are offered.
Degree Name: Master of Commerce
Degree Discipline: Marketing
Keywords: exporters; governments; free market philosophy; seafood exporters; Non-tariff barriers
Research Type: Thesis