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Trade Is A Vital Component Of Innovation Strategy

Trade is a vital component of the Government’s plans to grow an innovative New Zealand.

Trade Liberalisation Network Chairman Brian Lynch welcomed the emphasis on increasing New Zealand’s global connectedness in the innovation framework announced by the Prime Minister in her Statement to Parliament.

“The smart and innovative companies which the new strategy aims to create can only grow and prosper by selling in a globally competitive world market. While there are those who wish to see New Zealand turned into some sort of utopian, inward-looking Hobbiton, it’s good to see the Government acting on its belief that globalisation provides opportunities for New Zealand”.

Mr Lynch said that the vision could only be turned into reality with an active partnership between business, government and the community. The Trade Liberalisation Network has been established as a focus for business opinion in support of trade and to build public understanding of the benefits to New Zealand of further trade reform.

“Government leadership is critically important in this field. The Prime Minister and her colleagues have an active trade policy but it received only passing reference today. The Government must not let up on its drive to create freer and fairer trading conditions through the World Trade Organisation, APEC and bilateral trade agreements. Even with the WTO Doha round and the Hong Kong negotiation underway, we cannot afford not to explore other potential opportunities such as the United States, Taiwan and Thailand, even with the challenges they may pose”.

Mr Lynch said that trade liberalisation initiatives needed to be seen as part of the innovation strategy. “More open markets foster the exchange of ideas, expertise and people as well as goods and services. New Zealand needs all of these inputs to become the smart and innovative nation the Government is seeking”, concluded Mr Lynch.

Trade Liberalisation Network website: www.tln.org.nz

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