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Economic growth supported by whole of government

19 May 2005 Media release

Economic growth supported by whole of government

This Labour Progressive government continues to play a strong role in supporting economic growth and it's paying off according to Jim Anderton, Minister of Economic, Industry and Regional Development.

"With strategic economic planning, advice and support from this hands-on Labour Progressive government, our regions and our industries have made huge strides in their development.

"The facts tell their own story.
- Every one of our regions has now been in positive growth mode year on year for 23 consecutive quarters.
- New Zealand has averaged a growth rate of 4 per cent over the last 6 years while the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development average was 2.5 per cent.
- The OECD described our job creation efforts as 'exceptional'.
- We have the second lowest rate of unemployment in the rich group of OECD nations, with only developmental dynamo South Korea ahead of us.
- The World Bank, hardly a left-wing institution, lists New Zealand as number one in the world as the best country in which to do business,
- And the I.M.F. recently described our economy as 'strongly positive' and our fiscal position as 'very strong'.

"The whole government is playing a role in building the conditions for economic growth. We have not one but a core group of 9 Ministers playing a role in the work on the growth and innovation framework - for which I am lead Minister, and an extended group of 15 Ministers who are updated on this work on a weekly basis.

"In order to survive in the global market we need to continue to lift our game. Our research has found that foundation work is needed in four key areas: skills, innovation, global connections and infrastructure, in order to build the conditions necessary for sustainable economic growth," Jim Anderton said

Over four years Budget 2005's growth and innovation programmes in these areas receive additional funding of:
- $75.6 million to developing skills and talent - including the expansion of both Modern Apprenticeships and Industry Training programmes;
- $80.5 million to strengthening our ability to be innovative - by increasing industry based research funding and the development of research consortia;
- $66.9 million to increasing our international connections - we are pursuing trade agreements and expanding international investment opportunities;
- $52.8 million to improving our infrastructure, including our digital communications infrastructure under the digital strategy announced this week.

Editors note

For further information on specific programmes, contact the relevant Minsiter's office eg Helen Clark for Arts, Culture and Heritage funding.

Note that some programmes receive funding from other sources as well as GIF, for example, the Cultural Web Portal has total funding of $3.6 million over four years, including $3.0 from GIF and $600,000 from Arts and Culture.

Core GIF Ministers: Finance, Labour, Trade, Agriculture, Research, Science and Technology, Communications, Education, Social Development, Employment and Tourism, all have a key role in supporting economic growth.

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