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New Zealand Trade and Enterprise CEO urges

18 March 2005

New Zealand Trade and Enterprise CEO urges regions to think global

18 March 2005 – New Zealand’s regions need to establish successful connections with the global economy to ensure long-term prosperity, says New Zealand Trade and Enterprise (NZTE) Chief Executive Tim Gibson.

Mr Gibson will be speaking at the third Regional Development Conference (March 21-23) in Napier, themed ‘Our Future –Our Potential’.

“Economic growth is critical to New Zealand’s prosperity and to maintain the standards of living and lifestyles we enjoy. For this to happen, New Zealand must be better connected globally, encourage innovation, and use its people’s skills and talents to the best advantage. The regions of New Zealand have a key part to play in this process – with NZTE investment and advice acting as a catalyst,” says Mr Gibson.

New Zealand Trade and Enterprise’s Regional Partnership Programme aims to enhance economic development in the regions by investing in Major Regional Initiatives (MRIs) around the country.

The process involves development agencies, iwi and businesses in the regions working together to develop a business case for investment in initiatives aimed at enhancing long-term economic growth.

“Each MRI reflects the aspirations and strengths of our varied and diverse regions. They encompass the entire country and cover a variety of key business sectors relevant to each region,” says Mr Gibson.

“NZTE’s role is to tap into the expertise of its sector-based staff in New Zealand and around the world to help identify global opportunities that match regional strengths.”

Recent MRIs include investment in film post-production facilities in Auckland, skills training in Eastern Bay of Plenty and an initiative to utilise Maori-owned land for food exports in Tairawhiti.

“The next few years will see New Zealand entering into trade agreements with various nations such as China, Thailand and the ASEAN bloc. This brings a fresh new set of challenges and opportunities for our regions and their businesses. We need to work together to translate these opportunities into long-term economic growth for New Zealand and its regions,” says Mr Gibson.

ENDS

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