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Report shows New Zealand moving from feeding Westerners to feeding Asians


13:47, April 03, 2013

WELLINGTON, April 3 (Xinhua) -- Demand from Asia, particularly China, is feeding a boom in New Zealand's food and beverage sector, according to a government-commissioned report out Wednesday.

The Investor's Guide to the New Zealand Food & Beverage Industry 2013 showed that Asia was New Zealand's largest export destination region, accounting for more than 40 percent of food and beverage export value in 2011.

China was the single largest export destination country, buying 2.9 billion NZ dollars (2.43 billion U.S. dollars) worth of products, followed by Australia and the United States, each taking 2.1 billion NZ dollars, said the report from the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment.

"The New Zealand primary sector is in the middle of a fundamental transition from feeding Westerners to feeding the Asia- Pacific region," Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce said in a statement.

The report suggested that growth in the sector was being driven largely by East Asia, followed by solid performers such as the Australia-Pacific and Southeast Asia regions, and smaller but fast- growing export markets like South Africa and South Asia, while traditional markets like North America and Europe were growing slowly.

The report made a strong, factual case for investment in the New Zealand food and beverage sector, said Joyce.

In 1990, North America and Europe had accounted for 22 percent and 30 percent of New Zealand food and beverage exports respectively, but the figures had dropped to 12 percent and 16 percent in 2011, according to the report.

Meanwhile, East Asia and Southeast Asia had risen from 19 percent and 8 percent respectively to 26 percent and 13 percent.

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