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Budget 2006: Supporting firms to break offshore

Hon Trevor Mallard
Minister for Economic Development

Supporting firms to break into offshore markets

New Zealand firms trying to crack key markets overseas will get an extra helping hand from Budget 2006 with a $64.2 million increase in market development assistance, Economic Development Minister Trevor Mallard announced today.

"This extra funding for the market development assistance scheme reflects the Labour-led government's aim of working with business to further transform New Zealand into an innovative high value export-led economy," Trevor Mallard said.

"To create higher standards of living for all New Zealanders we need more firms that are innovative, that have good international linkages, and that can make their mark and grab the attention of consumers in overseas markets.

“Marketing our innovations and high value products offshore is vital. By supporting firms to undertake market development initiatives through the expansion of funding to this area, we help to open new and exciting opportunities for all New Zealand firms."

The $64.2 million in extra funds over four years comes from a reallocation of existing funds.

Under the scheme, an eligible firm will receive an Enterprise Development Grant – this will help fund a market development project such as market visits, in-market representation, advertising/promotion/marketing collateral, exhibiting at trade fairs and events, and market research. The scheme works through a co-funding arrangement with the company so that the grant pays up to 50 percent of a market development project, up to a maximum of $500,000 over a number of years. The maximum grant is $100,000 a year.

Eligibility has also been widened with the aim of helping more medium-size businesses. This means companies with an annual turnover of up to $50 million (previously the cap was $20 million) will be able to access the support.

The initial funding round was heavily oversubscribed. Companies awarded grants from that round are already reporting success as a direct result.

"Given our size, such help is crucial to our prosperity. This extra funding will also be important in the lead-up to Export Year 2007, and builds on other successful work undertaken over our last two terms of government,“ concluded Trevor Mallard.

ENDS

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