McKinnon Launches Book to Attract Overseas Investors

  • Don McKinnon
Foreign Affairs and Trade

Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Don McKinnon, and Minister for International Trade Lockwood Smith, today called for the business sector to join with Government to promote New Zealand as a destination for foreign investment.

Mr McKinnon was launching "Invest in New Zealand - the right choice", a promotional booklet compiled by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Tradenz and the Foreign Direct Investment Advisory Group.

The booklet highlights New Zealand's attractiveness as an investment destination by bench marking it against other countries across a range of indicators including business costs, economic performance, regulatory environment infrastructure and labour skills. It includes case studies of successful domestic and foreign owned companies in New Zealand and will be available from Tradenz offices and diplomatic posts overseas.

"Attracting investment in the global market place is extremely competitive, yet vital to New Zealand, because one in three jobs here depend on overseas investment," Mr McKinnon said.

"It is very easy for a small country like New Zealand to be overlooked. Over the next five years it is estimated New Zealand will require $75-$100 billion in new capital to ensure a high level of sustained economic growth.

"We can't source that much capital alone. Despite being ranked the 5th most competitive nation by the World Economic Forum in 1997, net direct overseas investment flows into New Zealand, for the year ended 31 March 1996, totalled only $4.4 billion. We have a lot of work to do to reach our target."

The Minister for International Trade, Lockwood Smith, who attended the launch, said the contribution of overseas investors to New Zealand should not be overlooked.

"As well as jobs, the benefit of overseas investment includes importation of knowledge and technology and access to international markets for New Zealand goods and services. The tax they pay also helps ensure the Government can pay for welfare, health and other social services," he said.