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T&E review better but still marginal benefit

Trade and Enterprise review better but still marginal benefit

The recently announced review of Trade and Enterprise Business Assistance programs is likely to lead to somewhat better outcomes for business but it will still be of marginal benefit to exporters overall says Business NZ CEO Phil O’Reilly .

The previous programs were often confusing and suffered poor targeting and coordination, so it is welcome that the Government is working to try to better coordinate various Government agencies in this field and simplifying the overall program.

But in spending so much time and effort on the Grants program the Government is in danger of not concentrating enough on some of the really good things it could be doing for exporters. These include services that all business can access and increasing grunt in offshore locations where exporters consistently say they want the most assistance. Government can and should also act more often in an “honest broker” capacity bringing together business that may be able to partner successfully offshore.

Grants programs are always likely to be controversial because they have aspects of corporate welfare attached to them. The Government will do better if it focuses on those areas where it and it alone can make a real difference.

ENDS

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