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Business Growth Agenda could be addressing bigger problems

Business Growth Agenda scoring runs, could be addressing more complex problems

Today’s Business Growth Agenda update shows progress being made towards a stronger economy, says BusinessNZ.

Focusing on what helps business grow jobs and well-being for the community is valuable, says BusinessNZ Chief Executive Phil O’Reilly.

“The Government is aiming for the big goal of doubling exports by 2025 and has made many moves in support of it – more free trade agreements, less red tape for exporters, financial market regulation for stronger capital markets, investment in infrastructure, support for innovation and higher value products, and others.”

But Mr O’Reilly said there were some holes in the Business Growth Agenda that needed addressing.

“Second rate regulation continues to load compliance costs on business. The Government should be advancing legislation that sets standards for lawmakers to help get fewer, better quality laws.

“Infrastructure is subject to increasingly complex procurement processes and unclear regulations, prompting investors to price in a risk premium, making our infrastructure more expensive and business less competitive.

“More progress is needed towards agreed rules on water. We are yet to see any concrete proposals for allocating water rights, a key need for many business operations.

“And the area of skills and productivity poses many challenges despite the many useful education initiatives in the Business Growth Agenda. We still have a severe shortage of skills needed by business – ICT, engineering, trades and others – and appreciate that it takes time to turn around the policies to get them, however there is a need for integrated policies to ‘grow the talent pipeline’ not just at the tertiary end but through the whole school system. And while taxpayers are spending billions on tertiary education, this has yet to translate into much improvement in our overall productivity.

“Business would like to see some of these more complex problem areas addressed.”


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