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This paper describes the challenges New Zealand exporters faced from January 2015 to February 2020. It also explores what firms and the New Zealand Trade Enterprise (NZTE) did to respond to these challenges.

Key findings:

Findings revealed five major challenges for New Zealand exporters:

  1. building brand awareness
  2. finding the right partners and channels (ie, intermediaries, such as retailers and distributors) 
  3. strong overseas competition
  4. understanding how destination markets differed from New Zealand markets and each other
  5. determining the right export pricing strategy and product-related costs to remain competitive and profitable.

All of these challenges have been heightened during the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly brand awareness and developing the right business connections, given there is no international travel.

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