Economic times like no other: Joyce

Making New Zealand "go faster" would require a "geographical play" and being prepared as a country to welcome investment and infrastructure, Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce said yesterday.

Speaking to about 280 delegates at the Property Council of New Zealand's national conference in Queenstown, Mr Joyce said the challenging economic environment had been "times like no other, since probably the Great Depression".

He predicted it could take 10 to 15 years for Europe to recover and, while he was confident the United States would overcome its issues, "this is probably the longest period in my lifetime that they haven't picked themselves up off the floor".

The "good news" was rapid growth in Asia and the investment opportunities it created.

Mr Joyce said three markets - North America, Europe and Asia - all had about half a billion people in the "middle income" bracket.

"The difference [between] these three ... the Asian market is growing rapidly. Within 10 years it will have 1.5 billion people in the middle income bracket. By 2030 it will have 3 billion."

The others would be static.

"They [the Asian market] are going to want to buy good quality food and secure future supply. [Secure] education services for their kids, agritechnology, high-value manufacturing services and ICT products and hopefully, for the first time since I think this country was settled ... we are in the exact right place."


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