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Government and business working together

Media Statement from Ken Stevens, Chairman of Auckland-based airport baggage handling company Glidepath, and Business Champion for New Zealand Trade and Enterprise Export Year 07.

Government and business working together to boost exports

The success of a specialised manufacturing trade mission to the Pacific northwest region of North America shows that with careful planning government and business can work well together to boost New Zealand’s export earnings, Glidepath chairman Ken Stevens said today.

The mission, led by Trade Minister Phil Goff in the first week of November, comprised a number of environmentally savvy New Zealand companies which have spotted niche business opportunities in the international market as the world becomes more aware of the need for environmental sustainability, said Mr Stevens, who is also Business champion for New Zealand Trade and Enterprise Export Year 07.

“Trade mission members were reminded that New Zealand exporters were not the only ones feeling the pain from appreciating currencies.

“While the specialised manufacturing mission was in Canada, the Canadian dollar, or ‘Loonie’, consolidated its position as now being stronger than the US Greenback, providing the mission with even more evidence that exporters need well thought-out strategies and must adopt best practices if they are going to succeed in the tough global market.

“A bipartisan approach to maximising New Zealand’s foreign exchange earnings was demonstrated on the mission by Mr Goff and National’s trade spokesman Tim Groser, who was also on the trip. This commitment to cooperation provided a great deal of comfort for mission members.

“Trade mission members were thrilled with the support given by a committed Minister. Mr Goff provided a dimension of support that is particularly helpful to exporters in opening trade doors and markets – especially in areas of provincial and local government where environmental sustainability issues were being pursued by the environmental; engineering members of the mission. Rising global awareness of this issue means there are huge business opportunities for savvy companies in this area.

“Export Year 07, while primarily an onshore initiative aimed at encouraging New Zealand businesses to grow their exports, was also able to provide companies with significant overseas exposure through trade missions such as the one to the Pacific northwest.

“Exporters were able to get a feel for the work ministers and government agencies such as NTZE and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade undertake to boost business, while the government got to see first hand what it takes to sell in fierce global markets.

“Trade mission members would like to thank Mr Goff, NZTE and MFAT for their support and guidance on the mission,” Mr Stevens said.

ENDS

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