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$500 million package supports economic growth

Comprehensive $500 million package supports economic growth

The $500 million Growth and Innovation Package will strengthen and deepen our ability to compete in the world economy as a creative, diverse and technologically advanced country, Minister for Economic Development, Jim Anderton, said today.

This media release summarises the budget package on GIF (Growth and innovation framework).

"The Labour Progressive government is actively working with business to support economic growth.

"The $500 million package covers four key areas where New Zealand must take action to reach the next step in economic growth. These areas are: global connections; innovation; skills and talent; and infrastructure.

"Each one of these areas plays an essential part in lifting the performance of the whole economy so businesses can flourish and the incomes of all New Zealanders can be raised.

"Global connections are the key to extending our markets, learning from others and developing our networks and knowledge. That is why new funding has been allocated to: market development; investment promotion; international education and the Aichi Expo 2005 for example.

"Innovation is a vital component to developing a high value economy. That is why this budget supports programmes to encourage smart, creative thinking, for example: research for industry; research consortia and technology transfer.

"Raising skill levels and nurturing talent are fundamental to helping people reach their full potential and unleashing their creativity. The world is moving into an era where countries compete for skilled workers. This is why funding has been allocated to programmes in: management capability; workplace productivity and modern apprenticeships for example.

"Finally, strong infrastructure will help smooth the way for business to prosper and remove unnecessary barriers to growth. Funding has been allocated to programmes such as: sustainable energy and infrastructure for small local authorities.

"This is a strong and comprehensive package that will give New Zealand the ability to raise our position in the global economy," Jim Anderton said.

The attached table provides four year funding details of all GIF package initiatives announced today and over the past fortnight. In addition, provision has been made for a range of other initiatives, yet to be announced, which brings the total value of the GIF package to just under $500 million over four years.

Note that some packages in the budget are part-funded by GIF so their whole funding may not be reflected here. The international education package is an example of this.

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