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OIC Figures In Perspective

24 May 2002

Finance Minister Michael Cullen said today it was important to put into perspective figures from the Overseas Investment Commission for last year showing approvals by value were at their lowest levels since 1993.

“OIC advice to me is that the number of applications from foreigners to invest here has remained steady and that the reason for the drop in value last year is that in 2000 Fletcher Challenge Limited restructured, selling several of its assets to off-shore interests.

“In the decade before that, the values were pushed up by the privatisation programme and the sale overseas of large publicly owned assets,” Dr Cullen said.

“There were no sales of this order made last year.

“Too much of the foreign investment in New Zealand in recent years has been in existing assets and capacity. The real value to the New Zealand economy comes when investors bring greenfields investments here, creating new jobs and expanding our productive base.

“This government is determined to increase that sort of investment and laid out a number of important initiatives in the budget to achieve this,” Dr Cullen said.

Ends




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