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Business Heartened, But Will Want More

The Prime Minister's statement today announcing a new commitment to economic growth will hearten New Zealand enterprises.

But Employers & Manufacturers Assoc. (Central) chief executive Paul Winter says business will be keen to see Helen Clark and the Cabinet put meat on the bones of their brave new policy this year.

Mr Winter says the target set by Government to develop the capacity of the economy to grow at least 4%pa by 2007 is a worthy goal.

"But increasing the number of Government funded business projects will only make a minor contribution to that goal. We need coherent strategies to boost existing successful business efforts, if we are to lift our national economic performance significantly.

"All business hopes the Government's new 'taskforces' will be given the resources, power and skills to help New Zealand companies build for the future," Mr Winter says.

Government has the opportunity to move on from imposing political and bureaucratic requirements on business. Enterprises in this country already face considerable compliance constraint. Legislative change already in the pipeline, to things like OHS, holiday pay and the minimum wage, will only increase this burden.

Instead of constraining business with compliance obligations, Government is in a sound position to become a facilitator, building and enabling our economic development.

"EMA Central is particularly pleased to hear the Government commit to building skills in the workplace and improving immigration to increase the usefulness of our workforce.

"Miss Clark and Cabinet can be sure enterprises will be watching closely this year to see if they get the development assistance they have been promised," Mr Winter says.


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