27 April 2013
Prime Minister praises Tim Groser’s WTO campaign
Prime Minister John Key says he has now received confirmation from Geneva that New Zealand’s Trade Minister has not reached the final round of consultations to select a new Director General for the World Trade Organisation.
“This is obviously disappointing, not only for Tim Groser and the Government, but for all those WTO members and people in the wider trade community who were hoping to see him secure this role. We were grateful for the expressions of support from around the world.
“I know that Mr Groser appreciated that support and looks forward to continuing to work for the conclusion of the WTO’s Doha development negotiating round and towards making the international trading system work more effectively for all members. These were shared priorities and they remain so, regardless of the outcome of this race.
“In putting Mr Groser forward for this role, and in the enthusiasm with which he has pursued his nomination, New Zealand has underlined its strong commitment to the WTO and the multilateral trading system,” says Mr Key.
“The candidate eventually selected to lead the WTO will face a challenge in ensuring that the organisation remains fully effective and credible. I want to assure whoever is selected that they will have New Zealand’s full support in this endeavour.”
Mr Key says that New Zealand’s trade negotiations agenda for the coming year remains full and exciting.
“A number of negotiations likely to reach crucial stages, in addition to the WTO Ministerial meeting in Bali in December and I am reassured that New Zealand will continue to enjoy the benefit of Mr Groser’s experience and skills as Trade Minister to progress these initiatives.”Tweet
26 April 2013
Entries open for PM’s Business Scholarships
Prime Minister John Key says executives looking to expand their international expertise should apply for this year’s Prime Minister’s Business Scholarships, which are now open for applications.
The scholarships are designed to build business capability and develop skills, particularly in management and international business leadership.
“We need to develop better skills to get the best out of our workforce, which in turn will help to grow the economy,” says Mr Key.
“Getting access to the best knowledge from the world’s best schools can only benefit our senior executives and the companies they return to.”
Last year’s scholarships enabled 14 successful recipients to enrol for this year’s intakes at prestigious international institutions such as Harvard, INSEAD and London Business School.
“We are already seeing tangible benefits as the recipients return to their firms,” says Mr Key.
“This will only increase as each new tranche complete their courses and return home to help their firms expand their international business transactions.”
Applications for the scholarships close on 27 May 2013. For more information visit: www.med.govt.nz/scholarships.
24 April 2013
Video Key Notes on growing tourism
I rated my recent trip to China as a ten out of ten and that's what we hope visitors to New Zealand do too, including tourists.
Whether they come for a wild adventure, or to escape the northern winter by enjoying our summer, or to see where Hobbits live when they're at home, we hope that when our visitors depart they leave as ambassadors for the New Zealand Experience.
Every host wants their visitors to have a good time. But there's more riding on tourism than that.
Make no mistake: it's a very important industry for New Zealand.
With about two million visitors coming here a year, tourism directly contributes more than six billion dollars to the New Zealand economy.
It directly supports about one hundred and twenty thousand full-time equivalent jobs including in hospitality and transport.
More tourists will mean more jobs. That is a good reason for us to want to grow the industry in a sustainable way.
Having a beautiful country, and a reputation for great food and wine are perfect starting point for attracting tourists. But that doesn't mean there aren't challenges.
Other countries also want international visitors, and the wealthier they are, the more choices those tourists have. Attracting them here is a competitive business, even with some of the beautiful lodges and scenery we have on offer.
On top of that challenge, we're a long way away from where most people live and, right now, our dollar's pretty high.
But there's real potential for growth in tourism which is why I've announced that this year's Budget will have an extra $158 million of spending in tourism over the next four years.
Some of that will go to marketing New Zealand to high-value tourists.
When they get here, we want them to sample a range of experiences. The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit films show what can be achieved by combining stunning scenery and creative talent. Showcasing our country, and our creativity are a natural fit.
I've hosted many overseas leaders here who are impressed by the beauty of our country. But we want visitors to take something away on top of their photos of a rugged mountain range, or a beautiful lake.
We want them to have felt the warmth and personality of New Zealanders. After all, the landscape is only one part of what makes this a great country to live in and visit. Dedicated people work in the tourism industry day and night but there's a role for all of us in sharing the Kiwi spirit when we get the opportunity.
We can help visitors to feel at home in our home so that when they're asked to rate their time in New Zealand, they say, "ten out of ten".
21 April 2013
Budget 2013: Business events and high-value tourists
Prime Minister and Tourism Minister John Key today released details of Budget initiatives for tourism, including $34 million for business events and $20 million to attract very high-value visitors.
As part of a larger internationally-focused growth package, the Government is investing an additional $158 million in tourism through Budget 2013 to attract more visitors to New Zealand, particularly high-spending visitors.
“Over the past decade, visitor numbers have been increasing but spend per visitor has fallen. As well as attract more visitors to New Zealand, we need to attract people who spend more. We will be targeting business travellers and high-spending luxury travellers,” says Mr Key.
“We will spend $34 million over four years to significantly expand our focus on international business events, including conferences, conventions and exhibitions. Conference and convention visitors are particularly valuable as they spend $318 per day on average, compared to $208 for the average tourist.
“New convention centres in Christchurch and Queenstown, and the proposed New Zealand International Conference Centre in Auckland, will allow New Zealand to host more, and significantly larger conferences.
“The new funding of $7 million per year will increase to $10 million by 2015/16 to ensure conference organisers are made aware of this increased capacity.
“In addition to this, we will spend $20 million over four years to target very high value visitors who spend far in excess of the average tourist. These visitors use luxury accommodation, private transport, bespoke activity providers and high-end tours.
“Investment in this very high-value niche will require a tailored marketing approach. The new funding will allow Tourism New Zealand to work with premium New Zealand tourism operators to ensure this niche is developed to its full potential,” says Mr Key.Tweet
21 April 2013
Budget 2013: Partnering with NZ’s tourism businesses
Prime Minister and Tourism Minister John Key today released details of the $158 million of additional funding for tourism announced in a pre-Budget speech earlier this week.
As part of a larger internationally-focused growth package, the Government is investing significantly in tourism through Budget 2013.
This will include $28 million over four years to co-fund business innovation and growth initiatives in the sector.
“We want to support innovative ideas and projects that will create new opportunities and overcome barriers to growth in the tourism sector.
We will be working with tourism businesses and the Tourism Industry Association and other groups to achieve this,” says Mr Key.
“To that end, we will partner with the sector to offer a co-funding model to be called The Tourism Growth Partnership, with the Government contributing up to 50 per cent to each initiative.
“This investment will help us capture the benefits from growing the value and number of visitors, while creating new jobs, higher growth and increased export earnings.
“We expect this fund will enable the tourism sector to respond to new market opportunities.”
The new funding will absorb and significantly expand the Tourism Strategy Implementation Fund, which is currently $1.22 million per year.Tweet