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Cullen's visit restores balance to investor debate

6 October 2000 Media Statement

Cullen's visit restores balance to investor debate

The Minister of Finance Dr Michael Cullen says he has received positive feedback from London following a successful investment visit last week.

The High Commissioner to London, Paul East, reported today that the Finance Minister's presentations dispelled some of the negative sentiment that had built up in the City towards the New Zealand economy.

Dr Cullen says he had been warned that London investors were feeling negative and he is pleased that his visit was able to restore some balance to the debate.

He says overseas investors tend to focus on a very narrow range of indicators as the basis for their assessment of an economy's performance. "London had been focusing on low business confidence and a high current account deficit.

"My visit provided the opportunity to discuss the economy in a broader context and to put the more negative indicators into context. Investors had gained a pretty bleak view of the New Zealand economy from the business confidence surveys. They saw New Zealand in a much more positive light after I explained that we had not undertaken a "massive swing to the left" and that we were committed to a programme of fiscal restraint and monetary policy orthodoxy.

"The National Australian Bank reports that since my visit there has been a pick up in interest in dealing in New Zealand currency," said Dr Cullen.

The Finance Minister attended three investor functions while in London and met with the Bank of England, Merril Lynch and Standard and Poors.


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