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Businesses expect to grow but don't plan for it

Media statement Friday, August 24th, 2006
Embargoed til Monday, August 28th.

Businesses expect to grow but don’t plan for it: Clever Companies survey

Nearly two thirds of companies surveyed in the Clever Companies project* expect to grow their own businesses over the next 12 months though most of them doubt that the New Zealand market will expand.

And as 73 per cent of them have no plans to achieve growth through exporting, the question arises: How will New Zealand’s expectations for economic growth be met?

“Kiwi businesses seem to be in a blind spot, given the doubts about the economic outlook locally, and with exporters in the small minority,” said Alasdair Thompson, chief executive of the Employers & Manufacturers Association (Northern). EMA partnered with PricewaterhouseCoopers in undertaking the project.

“A third of businesses also say they rarely plan at all, but without far more emphasis on planning, business will become prey to higher government compliance and other cost increases.

“What is gratifying, and reassuring, is the clear recognition that people with the right skills and attitude are the most vital assets of any business.

“It seems many businesses expect their growth will be won by investing in upskilling their people to achieve higher productivity.

“The survey certainly emphasises the extent Kiwi businesses value their people!

“It’s also reassuring to see the loud call coming from business for a lower company tax rate.

“Businesses are saying that, while they are keen to invest more in their people, and in the skills that will increase productivity, they are also saying the Government should come to the same party by cutting company taxes which will encourage businesses to invest more in skills training.

“Business wants to see far more enthusiasm for its business tax review than has been evident so far.

“That’s what a clever Government would do.

“Government need not fear a loss of revenues since a lower company tax rate will see more company profit invested back in businesses and its people, which would result in a virtuous growth cycle with more benefits available for all.”

--

The 2006 Clever Companies survey project was undertaken by PricewaterhousCoopers in association with EMA Northern, EMA Central, Canterbury Employers’ Chamber of Commerce and the Otago Southland Employers Association and with Auckland University’s School of Business.

ENDS

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