Praise for city's economic strategy

Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce addresses about 100 invited guests last night at a showcase event for a jointly developed 10-year economic development strategy for Dunedin. Photo by Craig Baxter.
Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce addresses about 100 invited guests last night at a showcase event for a jointly developed 10-year economic development strategy for Dunedin. Photo by Craig Baxter.
Minister for Economic Development Steven Joyce has praised Dunedin's economic development strategy and cannot see any reason why its goals cannot be achieved.

The strategy's goals are to add 10,000 jobs in Dunedin and increase wages by $10,000 in 10 years.

It aims to do that by improving business vitality and innovative alliances, creating a hub of skills and talent, improving links beyond the city's borders and making Dunedin a compelling destination.

Mr Joyce was a speaker at a presentation of the strategy, which was adopted last September, held for local business people and organisations at Toitu Otago Settlers Museum in Dunedin last night.

He said the strategy was headed in the right direction with its focus on getting Dunedin's ''face'' into the wider world, using its strengths, such as education and technology, to increase its international links and producing high-value products.

''It's one of the sharper regional economic strategies I have seen. There is always potential to be waffly, but you've got targets, actions and things that are achievable for the city.''

Dunedin was full of companies that were already heading in the right direction of producing added-value products for the international market, and the strategy was targeting the right areas - improving and building on international relationships, education, tourism, high-value manufacturing, information and communications technology and design.

''You've got it going on. Be confident - there's no reason you cannot succeed with the targets you have set.''

Projects in the strategy already started include better support for exporting, improving the city's links with Shanghai, and further developing innovative and internationally competitive industries and clusters.

The strategy was jointly developed by the Dunedin City Council, the Otago Chamber of Commerce, the Otago Southland Employers Association, Otago Polytechnic, the University of Otago and Ngai Tahu.

- debbie.porteous@odt.co.nz

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