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More to Economic Development Than Interest Rates

Monday 2 February 2004


More to Economic Development Than Interest Rates

The movement of interest rates alone does not give a true picture of New Zealand's economy, according to David Wilson, Programme Leader Economic Development, Institute of Public Policy, Auckland University of Technology.

"Economic development is not measured by a series of indicators or snapshots and isn't driven by a small group of finance market analysts or banks," he says. "The right macro-economic settings (monetary policy, interest rates etc) only provide the blackboard upon which economic development is written.

"We need to pay as much, if not more, attention to business, industry and skills development as we do to things like interest rate adjustments and exchange rates."

Mr Wilson says that these points will be reinforced at next week's Economic Development Forum in Auckland by international expert Professor Xavier Greffe. Professor Greffe is one of two leading international figures in economic development that will be keynote speakers at the Forum.

He joins Greg Clark, a senior executive in urban regeneration and local/regional economic development in the UK, and together they will offer an invaluable global perspective to the conference based on their individual experiences and engagement in economic development over the past 20 years and their key positions within the OECD.

The Economic Development Forum will focus on the changing dynamics of economic development in New Zealand and will be one of the key events of the economic development calendar for 2004.

It is open to individuals, businesses, educationalists and agencies at the forefront of economic development, and provides an opportunity to exchange ideas and expertise with leading economic development specialists from within New Zealand and from the OECD.

"The Forum will examine what is being done as well as what improvements could be made - the emphasis will be on opportunities and constraints," Mr Wilson says.

The two-day conference is being held on February 9 & 10 at the Crowne Plaza Hotel and will be hosted by the Institute of Public Policy at the Auckland University of Technology (AUT), in partnership with the Economic Development Association of New Zealand (EDANZ), the Auckland area chapter of EDANZ the Auckland Regional Economic Development Association (AREDA), New Zealand Trade and Enterprise (NZT&E) and Te Wananga o Aotearoa.


Greg Clark:

Greg Clark is a senior executive in urban regeneration and local/regional economic development in the UK with interests in practical strategies, development tools and development agencies/partnerships. He joined the London Development Agency (LDA) in 2001 as Executive Director, Strategy, Communications and Intelligence.

Xavier Greffe:

Professor Xavier Greffe is a distinguished academic with the University of Paris at the Sorbonne. He is internationally renowned as one of the leading figures within the LEED Programme of the OECD where he has been a consultant on Economic Development in both Western and Eastern Europe. He has been decorated on three occasions by the French Government for his outstanding work as the Director of New Technologies and National Education and for his work in the area of Labour and Employment. He is the current Chair of the LEED/OECD Forum on Partnerships and Local Governance.

Professor Greffe's areas of specialisation centre on local development, economic policy and the economics of culture. In this latter area he has made an outstanding contribution to the role of Arts and Culture in Economic Development and during his time in New Zealand will also be meeting with key people associated with the creative industries. At the Economic Development Forum Professor Greffe will provide an overview of economic development trends across the OECD countries thereby establishing parameters for the benchmarking of economic development in New Zealand at the local and regional levels.

To register for the forum visit

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