The New Zealand Export Credit Office (NZECO) is set to make changes to widen the scope and accessibility of its trade guarantees.

Under the amendments, NZECO will underwrite its trade guarantees in a broader range of currencies, including China’s renminbi.

Under the current rules NZECO is restricted to providing guarantees to companies exporting products with at least 30% New Zealand content.

However, under the change, the ECA will support transactions where it feels there are economic benefits to New Zealand, although it confirms that if its products are oversubscribed it will continue to prioritise exports with New Zealand-value added content.

Commenting on the new developments, trade minister Tim Grosersays says: “New Zealand exporters are increasingly under demand from their buyers to trade in the buyer’s local currency. This will give them greater scope to do so. This is about the internationalisation of local companies, which generally operate outside the traditional primary export sector, have a strong local design component and bring profits and other benefits back to New Zealand.”

While China’s currency will be included in the guarantees, the full range of currencies is aimed at mirroring those available to the Treasury’s debt management office.

Currently, NZECO can provide guarantees in the NZ dollar, Australian dollar, US dollar, euro, British pound, Canadian dollar and the Japanese yen. However, under the new criteria, it can include the Swedish krona, Mexican peso, Singapore dollar, Swiss franc, Norwegian and Danish krone, Thai bhat, Polish zloty, South African rand and Hong Kong dollar.