Govt help to exporters gets a boost

Prime Minister John Key announces extra funding for New Zealand companies seeking to become international traders.
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 received.

''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 more international.

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 there.

''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 welcome.

''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 500.

• Geographic spread welcomed


 

 

 

 

 

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