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Learning from our Asian neighbours

Learning from our Asian neighbours

International connections and proactive economic development are the theme in Economic Development Minister, Jim Anderton's speech to the Taiwanese Chamber of Commerce in Oceania this evening, at the Coral Reef Chinese Restaurant, 39 Beach Road, Auckland City.

"You might be surprised to know that I have spent some time studying the Taiwanese economy. I took an interest because of the development of your economy over the last thirty-five or so years.

"It has been a favourite theme in my speeches about economic development to contrast Taiwan’s pace of development with New Zealand’s. In 1970, both economies exported about a billion dollars a year of mainly agriculturally derived commodities. Thirty years later, at the turn of the century, New Zealand had increased our exports about thirty-fold, to about thirty billion dollars. In Taiwan you had increased your exports to US$130 billion.

"When I first read of those figures a few years ago, I recognised there were lessons for New Zealand in the way Taiwan’s economy has been managed. So it is appropriate to mention that some of those lessons have been adapted to our own circumstances and carefully put in place over the last five years or so – since I’ve been in a position to do something about it.

"And I might add the New Zealand economy’s has grown at a much more ‘Taiwanese’ rate over that time.

"So what are the lessons?

"One of the most important is the value of international connections and relationships. Our connections are vital for our exports as well as sources of capital and of new knowledge and technology," Jim Anderton said.

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