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NZ biotech companies supported at BIO 2006

7 April 2006

NZ biotech companies supported at BIO 2006

Economic Development Minister Trevor Mallard leaves for Chicago, United States, on Sunday where he will support New Zealand companies attending BIO 2006, the world's largest annual biotechnology event.

The BIO conference consists of four days of formal bio-business and finance conference symposia, a three-day trade exhibition, and a simultaneous finance and bio-partnering forum. Trevor Mallard will be attending a number of high-level, strategic investment meetings and presentations.

"BIO 2006 is a tremendous opportunity for New Zealand's biotechnology companies to show they are producing world-leading products," Trevor Mallard said.

"Last year BIO 2005 attracted more than1500 exhibitors from 24 countries and 22,000 visitors including many investors and buyers from around the world.
"New Zealand Trade and Enterprise will also have a strong presence at BIO 2006 to reinforce its 'New Zealand, New Thinking' branding, which aims to build international recognition of New Zealand as a source of biotechnology innovation and leadership. Around 30 New Zealand companies will be located at the BIO 2006 New Zealand pavilion.

"The government support for New Zealand exhibitors in Chicago underlines the Labour-led government's commitment to help high-growth, export-oriented companies establish strong and competitive positions in international markets.
"This is in line with the work we are doing with business to continue to transform New Zealand into a high income innovate economy," Trevor Mallard said.

New Zealand has one of the world’s fastest growing biotechnology sectors. Statistics just released show the income from biotechnology for the 2004-05 financial year was $811 million, compared to $675 million in 2003-04 and $475 million in 2002-03.

In the five years to June 2004, 348 biotechnology-related patents were granted compared with 156 between 1994 and 1999; and in 2005 the sector employed 2,424, 160 more than in 2004. Exports of biotechnology goods, services, processes, and knowledge for the 2004 financial year were valued at $108 million.

The government's Growth and Innovation Framework identified the biotechnology, information communications technology and creative sectors as the three areas with considerable growth potential.

For companies attending BIO 2006 see www.nzte.govt.nz/section/12703.aspx

ENDS

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