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New Labour Laws No Big Deal For O/Seas Investors

New Labour Laws No Big Deal For O/Seas Investors - Cullen

Overseas investors are relaxed about New Zealand's new labour laws, Minister of Finance Dr Michael Cullen said today from Malta.

Dr Cullen, on a whirlwind two week series of international conferences and investor presentations, said policies such as repealing the Employment Contracts Act that attract so much attention and cause so much controversy in New Zealand are no big deal to European investors and large banks.

"Our new labour market laws are much less rigid and regulated than the Germans are used to and New Zealand is still a lightly regulated economy by European standards.

"What they are more interested in is what are the Government's plans to change the base of the economy, to try and accelerate a shift away from commodity production and to support stronger export growth and longer term savings policies.

"They are less interested in surface issues and more interested in underlying structural issues of the economy".

He said the new, lower reconfigured current account deficit figures have yet to make much impact on overseas investors. "I don't think they have fed in. I think people are aware that we have a significant underlying current account deficit problem and that we are working to correct it with our strategy towards sustainable growth based on investing, producing and exporting.

"New Zealand is highly credit worthy. Our governments have never reneged on their debts in any shape or form and therefore people are confident in lending to the government and even the private sector, that they are lending to good credit risks," said Dr Cullen.

Ends

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