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Good things happening, always room for more

Good things happening, always room for more - ExportNZ assesses Business Growth Agenda

ExportNZ welcomes the latest version of the Business Growth Agenda and says it’s a good document because it pulls together all the actions being taken by Government to boost export growth and measure progress.

Catherine Beard, Executive Director of ExportNZ, says “Export growth is currently being driven by demand from China and is a largely a food, fibre and timber success story. This underpins the need for any government to stay focussed on high quality free trade agreements and continued investment in more resources in China and the Asia Pacific.

“ExportNZ welcomes increased government investment of an extra 25 people in China, but given the importance of this market and its complexity, would question whether 25 people across the MPI, NZTE, MFAT and Police is enough?

“We also need to spread our market risk, so it’s good to see more government representatives on the ground in the Middle East, Africa and Columbia. Exporters tell us that ‘in-market’ assistance is invaluable.

“ExportNZ is pleased to see more thought going into our domestic regulatory environment that will help shore-up our reputation for high quality exports. Standards are important in all aspects of what we do and we want to be known for high quality, safe, reliable and innovative products and services. Our domestic regulatory system has a part to play in this.

“While building diversity of markets is one aspect of spreading our risk, so is building diversity of exporters. ExportNZ would like to see more government assistance for building exporters of scale.

“In the absence of a large domestic market, with few multinationals, how do we build export capable companies of greater scale with deeper pockets?

“ExportNZ would like to see greater strategic use of government procurement’s $30 billion annual spend, to ensure domestic companies are somewhere in the supply chain in larger projects. This will help them become more internationally supply chain capable, encourage investment and give them big foundation clients when they enter overseas markets.

“We would also like to see more government programmes that facilitate ‘collaboration onshore to compete offshore’. Collaborations and clusters are one way to scale up the offering of small to medium sized companies and we need to do more of it.

“ExportNZ would like to see on-going and deeper investment in capability building programmes like Better by Design and easier access to R&D assistance.

“It would also be good if all political parties could have a population policy with a view to growing a bigger domestic market, which in turn would grow bigger companies. Australia is predicted to grow by 15 million people by 2050 on current policy settings. What population growth are we planning for in New Zealand?”

ends

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