Government wants more firms on global stage

HAMISH RUTHERFORD
Last updated 12:33 02/04/2014

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New Zealand Trade and Enterprise (NZTE) is to receive a major boost in funding as the Government seeks to help another 200 companies "internationalise".

In a speech in Auckland today, Key said that Budget 2014 would increase NZTE's funding by $69 million over the next four years to boost work, mainly in China, the Middle East and South America.

New positions will be created in Brazil, Chile and Colombia in South America, and in Riyadh and Abu Dhabi in the Middle East. Seven new positions will also be created in Beijing, in a new embassy which will become New Zealand's largest international outpost.

"To become a wealthier country that can afford higher incomes and better public services, we have to boost our trade," Key said today.

"That means more Kiwi businesses selling their goods, services and ideas into international markets, which creates higher paying jobs for New Zealanders and their families."

Last month Key and Chinese president Xi Jinping announced a target of growing two-way trade to $30 billion by 2020, and today the Prime Minister said it was important to focus on also growing trade elsewhere.

Praising the changes made at NZTE, Key said it would expand the number of companies it worked with.

"NZTE currently works intensively with 500 New Zealand companies. These are companies that have the greatest potential for high growth and have strong ambitions to grow internationally," adding that this number would be increased to 700.

Key said South-East Asia was also a focus, and today Foreign Minister Murray McCully announced Stephanie Lee as New Zealand's first dedicated ambassador to the ten-member Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN).

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