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Overseas investment important but assets not for sale

Overseas investment important but assets not for sale

The importance of foreign investment in New Zealand cannot be overestimated, but it should never come at the expense of our public assets, Labour’s Trade spokesperson Maryan Street says.

Her comments follow those of Chinese embassy political counsellor, Chen Lei, who is reported as saying this week that there were some assets, such as New Zealand dairy farms and mining, that offered potential for Chinese investors.

“Certainly Labour welcomes direct investment from China on the same basis as other FDI – Treasury has estimated that between 1995 and 2005 foreign investment lifted national income by almost $6 billion – but we are totally opposed to selling State assets into overseas ownership. That makes no sense at all. It is economic madness,” Maryan Street said.

Labour did, however, support foreign investment in productive ventures, new technologies, scientific research and other areas where there is a clear economic gain for both New Zealand and the investor, she said.

“Labour negotiated New Zealand’s FTA with China, and under that traditional trade has flourished. But as a follow on the Government has done little to encourage capital flows into new ventures which can benefit both countries,” David Parker said.

“With disastrously high youth and ethnic unemployment, we plainly need the jobs. Labour has a vision for our strong relationship with China. We will vigorously pursue the significant opportunities which arise from our resources and talents, combined with Chinese capital, talents and world markets.

“We won’t be hands off when it comes to our relationship with China or other global growth markets, but we will be keeping NZ ownership of our strategic land and infrastructure assets,” David Parker said.

ends

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