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Good News For Economy

Prime Minister Helen Clark today welcomed a double dose of good economic news, with unemployment falling to a 12-year low and telecommunications giant Ericsson announcing a major New Zealand business venture.

"The fall in unemployment is very encouraging, particularly as the government is putting in place policies aimed at regenerating the economy and creating more jobs," Helen Clark said.

"It demonstrates that New Zealand has the base to build a sustainably growing economy, capable of producing sophisticated goods and services.

"But there is no room for complacency. As I told last week's Business to Government Forum, more can be done and must be done to lift our performance.

"That means ensuring that we keep working on fresh approaches in areas like education, research and development, industry assistance, immigration and investment.

"The announcement that Ericsson and Wellington-based software firm Synergy are launching a hi-tech venture – expected to create 150 jobs in Auckland and Wellington - comes as 500 companies attend a government e-commerce summit in Auckland.

"Part of the e-commerce strategy being discussed at the summit is the need for a co-ordinated approach to attract to New Zealand people with e-commerce and related information skills.

"The decision by Ericsson to choose New Zealand ahead of other countries is a vote of confidence in our economy and a tribute to the work of Industry New Zealand and Trade New Zealand.

"New Zealand needs high quality, direct foreign investment, and the challenge for the government is to ensure that the skills and infrastructure required to make that investment a success are in place," Helen Clark said.

Ends

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