Norsewear Press Release | 14 April 2008
Million Dollar China Deal 48 Hours After Free Trade Agreement
New Zealand apparel company Norsewear is one of the first to benefit from the recently signed free trade agreement with China — securing an order worth close to a million dollars in less than 48 hours after the historic deal was signed.
The Free Trade agreement with China, signed earlier this week, is predicted to inject half a billion dollars into the local economy — something the management of Norsewear say is already benefitting them.
Norsewear has manufactured industrial workwear and rural clothing in New Zealand since 1963 and was recently acquired by Norsewear Brands Ltd.
Norsewear’s General Manager Sandra Shilling believes it’s not a coincidence the Norsewear export deal came on the back of the new trade agreement.
“This is the biggest single order we’ve had in the history of the company. Obviously it’s commercially sensitive but we are sending socks, hats and gloves. What I can tell you is that for each of these products, the Chinese have ordered three times the annual numbers we currently produce.
“The good news is that means more jobs for New Zealanders as all the product will be manufactured locally. Already our contract manufacturers are looking for new staff to help fill the order which is due for delivery in three to four months.”
Shilling says the contract is just a trial and if the Chinese are happy they plan to up the order.
“Goodness knows how we will cope with that! The export potential is absolutely mind boggling we are talking in the multi-million dollar region so it’s all systems go for us right now.”
Trade Minister Phil Goff welcomed this significant export deal.
“China has the biggest population and fastest growing economy in the world,” says Mr Goff.
“For smart, competitive and high quality manufacturers like Norsewear, there is a big potential for selling into niche markets, even in clothing where China is the world’s biggest manufacturer.
“It’s great to see Norsewear leading the way. The high profile New Zealand has gained from the Free Trade Agreement and the reduction in tariff and other barriers which will follow will give a real competitive edge and boost to New Zealand exporters,” says Phil Goff.