Strong New Zealand Presence For Korean Investment Forum

  • Lockwood Smith

New Zealand will have a strong business presence to showcase its investment potential to many of the world's major investors at a forum in Seoul next week according to Trade Minister Lockwood Smith.

The forum, a four-day APEC Investment Mart running from June 2-5, is a personal initiative of Korean President Kim Dae-Jung and an ideal opportunity for New Zealand to attract new investors, Dr Smith said.

"New Zealand has one of the most open economies in the world and we welcome productive new investment that will create jobs for New Zealanders.

Dr Smith said New Zealand's team of senior MFAT officials, leading members of the Korea/New Zealand Business Council, and Immigration Service and Tourism Board representatives would be looking to take maximum advantage of access to leading corporate decision-makers and the large international media presence.

"New Zealand is well aware of the huge benefits to our economy brought about by attracting overseas investment. Inward investment is a key economic driver, and currently one in every three jobs created is the result of overseas investment, " he said.

However competition was strong, and New Zealand currently attracted less than one percent of global FDI, which stood at US$400 billion in 1997.

"But New Zealand is an attractive option for potential investors. International surveys show that New Zealand's economy is one of the most attractive in the world in which to do business. Overall we're eighth in the world. We're second in terms of our economy being well shaped for the future.

"The Government believes it has a responsibility to actively attract inward investment. New Zealand's involvement in this event is funded through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade's investment promotion programme.

"New Zealand business leaders have a great story to tell about this country as a destination for new investment and as the world's largest market, the APEC investment mart provides an excellent forum for New Zealand to sell its message," Dr Smith concluded.