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600 firms share $48 million market development

600 firms share $48 million market development support

Nearly 600 companies around New Zealand have signed up for the government’s market development assistance scheme over the past year to help them take advantage of new business opportunities overseas, Economic Development Minister Pete Hodgson said today.

Pete Hodgson today visited Hills Hats, one of 79 Wellington exporters to receive this assistance during Export Year 2007. Established as one of New Zealand's leading gentlemen's hat stockists in 1875, Hills Hats has expanded into fashion, uniforms and outdoor wear.

"For Hills Hats the approved funding, of approximately $40,000, has meant they can employ a representative in Colorado and develop their US market.

"In the last 12 months $48 million of co-funding has been approved to 594 companies, working across several industry sectors. This continues the high demand for the scheme which has been a feature since it began in 2005. It is great to see more companies use it to help them connect to the global economy," Pete Hodgson said.

From an initial funding pool of $6.7 million in January 2005, the scheme has grown to more than $50 million annually.

"Exporting is about more than arms-length trade – Export Year 2007 has been all about developing long-term relationships in international markets. There is no denying this can be challenging, so assistance like this can really help our companies get out there and grab global opportunities for growth.”

Pete Hodgson said the support for market development was in addition to other programmes by New Zealand Trade and Enterprise, the government’s economic development agency. The annual figures for these included:

  • 30 new companies achieved international growth through the Beachheads programme

  • 366 companies built their capability through the Enterprise Development Grant – Capability Building.

  • More than 14,000 eligible clients completed an NZTE training programme

  • More than 11,000 small and medium size enterprises were participants in NZTE-supported training programmes

  • 12,418 calls were made to the NZTE Enterprise 0800 Hotline Service

  • 145,702 visits were made to online trade directory
  • 145,702 visits were made to online trade directory www.marketnewzealand.com

  • 124 start-up companies graduated from 8 incubators.

ENDS

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