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Anderton Speech: NZ Trade and Enterprise Bill

Jim Anderton Speech: New Zealand Trade and Enterprise Bill

Mr Speaker, I move that the New Zealand Trade and Enterprise Bill be read a first time.

After the Bill has been read a first time I intend to move that the Commerce Select Committee consider the Bill. I also intend to move that the Commerce Select Committee be instructed to report to the House by Monday 28 April 2003, rather than the default period of six months, as an establishment date of 1 July 2003 has been agreed by Cabinet.

With this legislation, the government is creating a new economic development agency. Last week, it was decided that this new agency will be called New Zealand Trade and Enterprise.

New Zealand will now have a one stop shop for economic development and trade promotion. We are creating a new organisation to integrate the services currently provided by Trade New Zealand and Industry New Zealand with the aim of making those services as seamless and responsive as possible.

This government decided early on that it had a smart and active role to take in the economy. The work we’ve done with Industry New Zealand and our regions, the partnerships started with business, communities and local government, with unions, industries and Maori, are starting to make a real difference.

Over the last two years, it has become obvious that integrating the services of these two entities was in the best interests of industry development in New Zealand. It will make life easier for business. And from the government’s perspective, it will make sure that economic development policy is well integrated and user friendly.

This move brings together and builds on Trade New Zealand’s experience both internationally and in New Zealand export sectors, as well as Industry New Zealand’s experience in working with investors, business and the regions. In New Zealand Trade and Enterprise, business will have a powerful partner for growth backing their drive for growth and success.

New Zealand has always been a nation of exporters and our enterpreneurial skills have stood us in good stead, but we need to lift our performance once again. The rules have changed, and we’re now living in a global marketplace. New Zealand needs to connect to the world, and build strong networks.

The government recognises that our businesses must be internationally competitive whether their markets are domestic or offshore and that internationalisation is critical to improving New Zealand’s overall economic performance.

The major objective of New Zealand Trade and Enterprise is to support the development of internationally competitive New Zealand businesses.

Well designed and delivered business development services have the potential to be a major contributor to the Government’s goal of becoming a genuinely global, innovative economy. Such business development services can assist firms to leverage their innovation, skills and talent into global markets.

Essentially, the move to integration is motivated by three drivers:

First as I have already stated, the rules have changed. Now, many companies in New Zealand are born into the international environment. Their markets, opportunities and business model are based on export, markets.

Second we need more exporters as well as more exports. New Zealand Trade and Enterprise will be better placed to build capability in NZ firms, so they can connect globally, attract investment, adopt best practice and grow. Getting more exporters to the starting line is vital for increased export growth.

Third our clients want an integrated service. We’ve got that clear and consistent message from both Industry New Zealand and Trade New Zealand clients. They want a single point of contact for export and business growth services.

The new organisation will take the form of a crown entity so that it can develop a strong commercial culture; so that it can build and maintain credibility with business networks. The Board of New Zealand Trade and Enterprise will comprise seven members. The legislation allows for the use, when necessary, of special advisors to assist the Board in aligning its strategy and activities with Government policy. These special advisors are the Secretary of Foreign Affairs and Trade and the Chief Executive of the Ministry of Economic Development.

The Minister for Trade Negotiations and I, as Minister for Economic Development, will together be responsible for New Zealand Trade and Enterprise. The Ministry of Economic Development and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade will be jointly responsible for monitoring and evaluating the new organisation and will provide advice to the responsible ministers.

The strategic goals of New Zealand Trade and Enterprise are:

To contribute to increased exports and investment in New Zealand by strengthening global linkages and targeted assistance;
To enhance capabilities by providing information and facilitating access to skills, expertise and resources; and
To contribute to a supportive environment for economic growth by: fostering collaborative networks and partnerships; encouraging private and non-government sector economic development services; and improved co-ordination of assistance.

New Zealand Trade and Enterprise is being created to give effect to government policy. It will have to respond to the multiplicity of issues that a firm faces. It will act as a one-stop shop’ with a package of services. It needs to deliver a seamless service and work alongside firms, regions and sectors. Most importantly of all, New Zealand Trade and Enterprise needs to connect with its clients.

The strengths of the two former agencies will be carried forward into the new organisation. New Zealand Trade and Enterprise will provide integrated services across the business lifecycle from foundation services offering advice to young companies and entrepreneurs; to enabling services for regions through to inward investment; to growth services giving customised assistance to accelerate development of potentially high-growth businesses at home and abroad.

Mr Speaker, I would now like to move that:

The Commerce Select Committee consider the Industry New Zealand and Trade New Zealand Integration Bill; and
That the Select Committee be instructed to report back to this House by 28 April 2003.

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