INDEPENDENT NEWS

Business development agencies to be one-stop-shops

Published: Fri 20 Sep 2002 10:28 AM
Business development agencies to become one-stop-shop
The Government has decided in principle to create a new organisation fully integrating the business and export development services currently provided by Trade New Zealand and Industry New Zealand, Economic Development Minister Jim Anderton and Trade Negotiations Minister Jim Sutton said today.
This move was announced in the Speech from the Throne.
The two ministers said the new organisation would be expected to provide a seamless service with the objective of developing internationally competitive businesses in New Zealand and increasing New Zealand's export income.
The investment promotion arms of these agencies were merged earlier this year into a new investment promotion agency "Investment New Zealand", reporting to the board of Industry New Zealand.
The decision to develop full integration of services comes in response to calls from business for a single point of contact. Both boards then recommended to Government that the two should be blended into a new organisation.
The two ministers said there has already been considerable discussion between the two organizations for some time. Both are committed to providing a more integrated level of business assistance to companies from start up to full maturity in export markets.
Today's decision is expected to make it easier for business. The new organisation is also expected to make a stronger contribution to achieving the Government's goals for the economy.
Trade New Zealand was established in 1988 as the New Zealand Trade Development Board, the Government's trade promotion agency, to support the export sector and increase export earnings. Industry New Zealand was established in October 2000, to implement the Labour-Alliance government's business, industry and regional development policies.
"Over the years in New Zealand, we've provided business development services through a range of agencies: if you were starting up, you went to BizInfo for help; if you were looking for assistance with R you went to TechNZ; if you wanted to start exporting you went to Trade New Zealand. When we established Industry New Zealand, we wanted a broader range of services for businesses and we wanted them available as quickly as possible," Jim Anderton said.
"Over the past two years, it's become obvious that today's businesses have found jumping between a range of agencies counter-productive. There are also many different paths that businesses are taking in seeking advice. An increasing number of our new companies see themselves as global from day one and don't want to deal with several different agencies," he said.
Jim Sutton said that since the inception of Industry New Zealand, the two organisations had been actively engaged in developing a high level of collaboration and co-operation, and this led to ongoing discussions about integrating a range of services.
The role Industry New Zealand played in helping New Zealand companies to get export-ready was critical for our export growth, he said.
"Cabinet has asked officials to pick up the boards' work and to report to us by the end of October with options and a broad outline of the process and structure for this new entity. The business community, including exporters, will also be consulted during the design phase to ensure that the final model will deliver in the most beneficial way, in terms of both services and structure. We would expect the new agency to be formally created by July next year."
Mr Sutton said the new agency would focus on supporting the development of internationally competitive businesses in New Zealand.
"Full integration and seamless delivery means these agencies can do more to achieve our vision of New Zealand as a global, innovative economy earning first world incomes for New Zealanders."

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