• Dr Lockwood Smith
International Trade

The Government's Special Investment Programme is well on target in attracting potential investors to consider New Zealand as an investment destination, according to Trade Minister Lockwood Smith.

The Special Investment Programme was part of the Government's ‘Policies for Progress' package announced in October 1998, and has been managed by Trade New Zealand.

"The Special Investment Programme has been an excellent model of practical, well-focused co-operation in Government," Dr Smith said.
"The programme has been a key component of the steps undertaken by Government to ensure better co-ordination in the promotion of foreign direct investment into New Zealand, and it's succeeded in exposing New Zealand investment opportunities at the highest level.

"The programme has directly involved Ministers, the overseas networks of Trade New Zealand and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs & Trade, as well as the New Zealand Immigration Service, Commerce, Research Science and Technology, Crown Research Institutes and the private sector.

"The aim of the programme has been to capitalise on New Zealand's increased profile through APEC, the America's Cup and millennium related events, focussing on attracting higher technology interests to assist our efforts to build a knowledge-based economy.
"The programme provides funding for bringing 50 significant potential investors to New Zealand on a "red carpet" visitor programme by June 2000. So far, we've facilitated 24 visits, and we have another 30 visits scheduled over the course of the next few months.

During APEC, 14 programmes were put together for major corporate visitors. They included such major corporations as Aris Corp. (USA), Bombardier (Canada), Cargill (USA), Chinese Petroleum Corp. (Taiwan), COSCO (China), Hopewell (Hong Kong) and Sapura (Malaysia).

"Results from the Special Investor Programme will take time, but a technology investment of over a million dollars has already taken place as a direct result of the programme.

"In addition, we know that several investors are undertaking due diligence on opportunities in New Zealand, and we have good reason to expect further investment successes in the next twelve months," Dr Smith concluded.