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Strengthening our presence in global markets

BUDGET 2004 Strengthening our presence in global markets

New Zealand businesses are a long way from their overseas markets, but the Government is to assist them to overcome the tyranny of distance, Trade Negotiations Minister Jim Sutton said today.

The Government announced a new fund to help businesses take advantage of market opportunities and to develop a presence in global markets.

Funding on the Brand NZ strategy will also be increased.

Mr Sutton said New Zealand businesses needed to get close to customers to understand their changing needs, requirements and tastes.

"This understanding will direct what products and services are developed and delivered to world markets by our companies."

He said the Market Development Assistance Scheme would provide part-funding for trade promotional activities that help New Zealand companies develop linkages with overseas businesses and customers. Such activities might include developing overseas representation, creating marketing material, and communications programmes.

The scheme would help raised understanding of New Zealand in international markets, and would encourage the flow of ideas and knowledge to feed New Zealand innovation.

The Market Development funding, part of this year's Budget, would be $7.5 million for this year and the next two years, rising to $12.5 million each year from 2007/08 onwards.

Mr Sutton said the new initiative would be administered by New Zealand Trade and Enterprise, and would target a broader range of companies than existing schemes. Eligibility criteria and detailed implementation plans have yet to be developed.

Mr Sutton also said the Government had set aside up to $2 million a year as part of the 2004 Growth and Innovation Contingency to boost promotion of New Zealand globally under the Brand NZ programme.

He said this programme aims to generate "pull" for New Zealand goods and services in global markets to complement the existing "push" from marketing initiatives.

"This programme implements a trade-related brand positioning for New Zealand captured as: New Zealand, New Thinking. The positioning adds the new elements of innovation and creativity to New Zealand's traditional image as a beautiful country."

It builds on work done to date under the Brand NZ programme currently administered by Tourism New Zealand and New Zealand Trade and Enterprise.

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