Saturday, May 25, 2024

Seizing opportunities to grow our economy

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Botany-based Labour List MP Naisi Chen. File photo supplied
  • By Naisi Chen, Labour List MP based in Botany

With countries around the world facing economic challenges, our plan to position New Zealand globally as a great place to visit, trade with and invest in is essential to the economic security of families here in Botany.

As part of this work, the Prime Minister recently led a business delegation to Asia to advance our ambitious trade agenda and seize new opportunities to grow New Zealand’s economy.

While overseas, she announced a new free trade agreement upgrade with Association of South East Asian Nations and Australia.

This upgrade is really good news and builds on our strong record backing Kiwi businesses and exporters.

We’ve already concluded four free trade agreements including major deals with the United Kingdom and European Union and made upgrades to existing agreements, including with China.

We’ve also seen Kiwi agricultural exports reach a record $53 billion, boosted by the return of tourists proving our goods and services remain in high demand.

In fact, the latest figures show that there’s been a big uptick in the number of tourists returning to Aotearoa as we head into summer.

On top of being a positive indicator of the strength of our economy, the return of tourists is great news for New Zealand businesses.

More money being spent boosts our regional economy and working holidaymakers will help to address some of the skills shortages that we’re facing.

New Zealand isn’t alone in facing skills shortages and I know the Prime Minister discussed this and other common challenges, like high fuel prices and inflation, with other world leaders while overseas.

While things are tough everywhere, we continue to be in a better position than most.

The fundamentals of our economy are strong and we’re supporting households with the cost of living while also investing in the things that matter most, like health and education.

The work that we’re doing to make sure the world knows New Zealand is open for businesses is just one part of our economic plan.

Here at home, we’re focused on creating high wage jobs, upskilling more Kiwis through trades training and investing in a low emissions future.

We’re also delivering a new resource management system that will help to boost our economy too.

By making the process quicker, cheaper and better, we’re helping to unlock the infrastructure that Botany needs.

So there’s lots to be optimistic about as we head into summer.

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