Pursuing our international trade agenda

PM column 

New Zealand is a small and isolated nation, which presents unique challenges for our businesses and exporters.  That’s why it’s critically important we build strong and enduring links with our international trading partners…… to better support New Zealand businesses on the world-stage.

Last week I attended the 20th Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Leader’s meeting in Vladivostok, Russia.  This was a great opportunity to talk to world leaders about some of the major global challenges we’re facing, and the importance regional economic integration will have for our future prosperity.

I enjoyed a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin.  We talked about some of the ways New Zealand and Russia can strengthen our trading relationship.  I also met with my Australian counterpart, Julia Gillard, todiscuss important regional issues.

New Zealand operates in an increasingly global marketplace.  How our companies and business operate in this global environment determine the long-term economic prosperity of New Zealand.

 The National-led Government has a strong economic plan in place that will help put the right conditions in place to support New Zealand companies to grow, invest, take on more staff and compete on the world-stage.  We want to achieve a more competitive and productive economy which is part of our plan to deliver a brighter future for all New Zealanders.

Our business growth agenda has six parts which will make it easier for businesses to access the ingredients they need to be successful.  We’re working hard to improve access to innovative ideas, capital, skilled workers, resources, and public infrastructure.  This means making changes across the board to achieve results.

We know the Asia-Pacific region is set to be the engine for future global growth.  New Zealand’s current and future prosperity depends on how successfully we can support Kiwi businesses to integrate into this region.  One of our aims is to pursue more high-quality Free Trade Agreements.  This is part of the Government’s strong economic plan to build a more productive and competitive economy at home, enabling our businesses to take advantage of future growth in the APEC region.