Exoport NZ welcomes innovative funding programme
Export New Zealand welcomes innovative funding programme
Media Release 11 March 2008
Calling it an excellent government-private partnership, Export New Zealand welcomes Prime Minister Helen Clark’s announcement today [Tuesday 11 March] of NZ Fast Forward, a $700 million innovation funding package.
The programme will benefit the food and pastoral sectors by encouraging adding value to products to make them more attractive on the international market. Combined those sectors generate 57 per cent of the country’s exports. The income from these sources support our quality of life including paying for healthcare and education. NZ Fast Forward will be a partnership with business, using both public and private funding. During the next 10-15 years, the government’s investment is expected to grow to $1 billion. With businesses’ matching financial commitment, this will grow to $2 billion.
“It is a public-private partnership at the highest level,” said Bob Walters, CEO of Export New Zealand. Four broad areas for challenges and opportunities have been identified: sustainable pastoral systems; research and education capability; food innovation clusters; internationalisation.
It’s not just food and beverages but value-added products, such as pharmaceuticals or nutraceuticals, which will enhance the goods’ appeal offshore and pay dividends for New Zealand companies. This initiative will encourage sustainable exporting and encourage more business to send their goods abroad. “This will be beneficial for all New Zealanders. We have to improve our export performance,” Walters said. “We give it a big tick on the basis of partnership.”