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$2 million for new export initiative

24 May 2002 Media Statement

$2 million for new export initiative

Prime Minister Helen Clark today announced a $2 million per annum new exporting programme called the “Beach Heads Initiative”. She was speaking at the Auckland Chamber of Commerce post-budget luncheon.

The Trade New Zealand programme will assist new economy companies to establish marketing bases overseas.

The government has allocated $2 million (GST incl) per annum to the Beach Heads Initiative from 2002-03 onwards.

Helen Clark said that traditionally New Zealand companies looking to get into export markets had a domestic base, but that in the information technology sector products or services have little if any domestic market.

“In this sector speed to market is a paramount consideration. Although modern communication assists, there is no substitute for being face to face with customers, especially when the global market is crowded with competitors from around the world.

“Trade NZ has increasingly had requests from clients to assist them to establish their first beach head in the market. This new initiative will give them a first platform in some key markets. They will be able to move into a fully wired office, clustered with other similar New Zealand companies, and have the assistance of a local person with the contacts and networks to assist them to find the right partners.

“Trade New Zealand is already establishing the first of these beach heads in partnership with the Singapore Economic Development Board. Further possibilities are being investigated in the United States and Britain. Trade New Zealand is ready to move when the funding is available in the next financial year.

“This initiative will bring more New Zealand companies into the market at a critical time for them, but in an environment that manages risk. The up front costs of establishing will be minimised, because they will not need to sign up to long term leases of expensive real estate. They will get advice about appropriate in-market service providers – legal firms, for example – and they will be able to brainstorm with other New Zealand companies, sharing mistakes and successes.

“The Government considers this to be a very exciting initiative and an indicator of the growing involvement of NZ technology companies in the global economy. It is an example of some of the targeted initiatives we are taking under our Growth and Innovation framework,” Helen Clark said.


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