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World Competitiveness Yearbook

Hon Dr Michael Cullen
Minister of Finance

11 May 2006 Media Statement

World Competitiveness Yearbook

Finance Minister Michael Cullen today welcomed the endorsement of the government's economic work programme in the latest IMD World Competitiveness Yearbook.

The Yearbook lists five challenges to assist New Zealand in improving its competitiveness.

"We are making good progress on all of these. In fact last week's announcement on telecommunications was the first and most important on the list.

"We have significant work underway in all areas identified by the IMD. We are tackling issues around business taxation and productivity, examining regulatory frameworks, investing in research and science and making significant investments in infrastructure.

"Let's not forget that New Zealand is still a great place to do business. We have enjoyed significant growth, consistently ahead of the OECD average over the past six years.

"Next week's Budget will also provide more detail on how the government's Economic Transformation agenda will assist in improving competitiveness.

"While we are disappointed our ranking has declined, this has more to do with changes in overall economic conditions, many of which are cyclical, than any genuine deterioration in our competitiveness.

"We are confident work underway will assist the country moving back up the rankings in the medium term," Dr Cullen concluded.


ENDS

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