Prime Minister John Key announces extra funding for New
Zealand companies seeking to become international traders.
The geographic spread of the extra spending allocated to
New Zealand Trade and Enterprise by the Government was welcomed
yesterday by ExportNZ executive director Catherine Beard.
In particular, the increased resources to be based in the
China, South America and Middle East regions would be well
''The important thing about this mix is the geographic
spread, so we are not overly concentrated in one part of the
world,'' she said.
Prime Minister John Key, along with Trade Minister Tim Groser
and Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce announced as
part of Budget 2014 NZTE would receive funding of $69 million
- $55 million of new spending plus $14 million of redirected
funding - over the next four years to help assist more
exporters to succeed internationally.
In a speech in Auckland, Mr Key said building export markets
was one of the six areas on which the Government was focusing
in its business growth agenda.
As part of the funding package, NZTE would work intensively
with up to 200 more New Zealand companies to help them become
NZTE now worked intensively with 500 New Zealand companies -
those which had the greatest potential for high growth and
had strong ambitions to grow internationally.
In the last year or so, NZTE had found its resources
stretched by demand from an increasing number of firms
seeking to break into or expand international markets.
The Budget funding increase would enable NZTE to intensively
focus on more companies, 700 in all, Mr Key said.
Ms Beard said the companies receiving tailored support rated
it highly and the larger the group could be made, the better.
As the future of AgResearch's Invermay facility still hangs
in the balance, Mr Key announced the new Budget funding would
provide more funding for NZTE's high impact programmes in
sectors such as agribusiness, food and beverage, ICT, marine
and aviation, health and wine.
As a result of the new funding, NZTE would add seven new
positions in China, on top of the 60 staff already working
''The announcement today follows one I made in China last
month regarding a boost to our diplomatic and agricultural
presence with seven new MFat positions and five new Primary
Industries positions based in China,'' Mr Key said.
In China, NZTE was experiencing increased demand from
companies for assistance. It now worked with 150 customers
who had targeted intensive engagement in China, Mr Key said.
The increase in staff was also recognition of how complex and
difficult the Chinese market could be to break into and to
operate in successfully.
New Zealand companies receiving support in China often
required greater levels of guidance and assistance than they
might in other markets and required that assistance for
longer periods of time, he said.
NZTE would also boost its presence in South America with
three new positions - one each in Brazil, Chile and Colombia.
Two new positions would be created in the Middle East.
Ms Beard said feedback from ExportNZ's more recent annual
exports survey indicated exporters wanted more export
development assistance. Having more in-market resources in
the geographic areas of big trade opportunities would be
''The way our companies will be able to compete globally in a
high exchange rate environment is by being the best in class,
and that includes differentiating from the competition
through innovation and design.
''Even the smallest start-up companies can embrace design and
innovation so we welcome the extension of these programmes.''
If New Zealand wanted to meet the target of lifting export
performance to 40% of GDP and build bigger export companies
of scale that no longer needed Government assistance, those
sorts of investments were important and would need to be
built on in future years, she said.
At a glance
• $55 million new funding for
NZTE in Budget 2014, plus $14 million of redirected funding,
to give a total of $69 million over four years.
• Money to be spent boosting New Zealand's presence in China,
South America and the Middle East.
• NZTE will work intensively with 700 New Zealand companies
seeking to trade internationally, up 200 from the current
• Geographic spread welcomed