ExportNZ has released its election manifesto to all political parties today in the lead up to the 2011 election.
Executive Director of ExportNZ, Catherine Beard, says our exports as a percentage of GDP have been declining since 2005, so all political parties should have some proactive policies in place that are supportive of exporting.
“With a very small domestic market of 4 million people, it is only through exporting that we will grow bigger companies that can employ more people and allow for a better standard of living for New Zealanders”, she said.
“An expanding export sector will help us pay our way in the world, whereas an expanding government / non-tradable sector will add to our debts”.
ExportNZ is recommending the best policy approach includes:
• Continuing with the free trade agenda; in particular there is strong support for a regional free trade agreement like the Trans Pacific Partnership, and achieving an FTA with India.
• Ensuring that exporters have an internationally competitive business environment in New Zealand, which includes competitive tax rates, flexible labour market and a reduction in regulatory compliance costs such as the RMA and the Emissions Trading Scheme.
• Reduced government spending to take the pressure off inflation thereby keeping interest rates lower and the dollar lower.
• Efficient and competitive domestic and international transport options.
• Effective market development assistance for exporters.
• Increased government contribution to investment in R & D to get closer to the OECD average.
• A strategy to boost the availably of venture capital and to attract foreign direct investment.
• A strategy to boost the leverage of companies, such as the facilitation of better collaboration between companies on-shore to compete offshore.
• A plan to put exporting front and centre of all government activity in order to grow the economic pie; this includes the right content being offered in the education sector to encourage our next wave of entrepreneurs.