International Engagement by New Zealand Businesses: Key results from the Business Operations Survey 2007

Overseas purchases of goods and services

The final type of international engagement examined in the survey was the purchase or import of goods or services from overseas. Again, this may be done in combination with the other overseas activities covered in the survey – the generation of overseas income from exports from New Zealand or from the overseas production of goods and services. Tables 14 and 15 relate to this chapter.

Overseas purchases

As with the export data presented in chapter 3, available data from New Zealand’s external trade statistics (Statistics NZ, 2007), based primarily on data obtained from import documents, gives detailed information on New Zealand’s imports in value terms by country and commodity. The BOS asked businesses about what they purchased from overseas and why.

Results showed that 28 percent of businesses purchased goods or services from overseas. The most common overseas purchases by these businesses were of finished goods for resale in New Zealand (50 percent), or of raw materials, components, or equipment used by the business in New Zealand (48 percent).

Figure 6.01 shows results for all types of overseas purchases.

Figure 6.01
Proportion of businesses with overseas purchases

Reasons for overseas purchases

The main reason given by businesses for sourcing goods or services from overseas was that there was no domestic supplier (54 percent of businesses reported this). Cheaper sources of supply was also a common reason (37 percent), followed by obtaining technology not available domestically (20 percent), or obtaining goods or services of a higher quality (19 percent).

Different patterns can be seen when the reasons for each type of purchase are investigated, but the same rankings for these apply in most cases.