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Creativity promoted to APEC business leaders

18 August 2004

NZ innovation and creativity promoted to APEC business leaders

APEC business leaders were told to look to New Zealand for high value investments and partnerships based on kiwi innovation and creativity at the APEC Business Advisory Council meeting in Auckland today.

"Innovation and creativity are part of our national culture, because being small and at the bottom of the world, we have had to work harder to reach markets and solve problems for ourselves. Inventors like Richard Pearse in aircraft design and Sir William Hamilton in jet boat design led the way for New Zealanders.

"After being known for primary production for many years we are now becoming known for our high quality agritechnology, biotechnology and a fast growing biomedical technology industry.

"Our products are lining up with the best in the world. Our once primary focussed wood industry is being transformed into a high level manufacturing industry for top quality furniture. Prestigious Danish furniture company Zenia House, for example, has developed a range using Taupo Clearwood.

"The government is working with industry to develop key industries and sectors, especially biotechnology, ICT and creative industries. These industries have been chosen as they can enable others.

"While much of our technology and manufacturing is world class, we are now working to help companies make connections with international markets.

"We need to enter global markets to produce the wealth we need to raise the living standards of all New Zealanders and ensure that everyone can maximise their opportunities to reach their full potential.

"I am sure that APEC business leaders will be impressed with the creativity and innovation on show at the ABAC meeting over the next few days and encourage them to consider working with New Zealand in the future," Jim Anderton said.

The Asia-Pacific Business Advisory Council is being held in Auckland from August 18-20. The theme is Strengthening Regional Economy and Anti-Corruption. Members of the council are prominent business leaders from major corporations in each of APEC's 21 Member Economies.

Recommendations prepared by the APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC) will be presented to APEC Leaders at their annual meeting to be held in Santiago, Chile, this November.


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