Magazine article New Zealand Management

ECONOMICS: It,COs a Question of Management

Magazine article New Zealand Management

ECONOMICS: It,COs a Question of Management

Article excerpt

Byline: Bob Edlin

Finance Minister Bill English obviously enjoys answering patsy Parliamentary questions that have been crafted to allow him to claim or infer that his economic management is greatly superior to that of his Labour predecessor. An example: an innocent-sounding question from MP Amy Adams about challenges in the economy to creating permanent and sustainable jobs.

English replied saying there was little point in having the job creation that occurred under the previous government, C[pounds sterling]based as it was on a temporary property boom, or a back-room bureaucracy that the economy does not need and cannot afford. That gave many New Zealanders false hopes, which have been dashed. That is why we are working on creating better-quality jobs in an economy focused on saving and exporting.C[yen]

But another recent question inadvertently drew attention to the benefits flowing from a good policy initiative by the Clark government, the negotiation of the free-trade agreement with China.

National MP Colin King wanted to know what reports Agriculture Minister David Carter had recently received on the state of New ZealandCOs primary sector. He was told the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry had just launched its annual flagship publication, Situation and Outlook for New Zealand Agriculture and Forestry. This C[pounds sterling]shows that our primary producers are at the forefront of New ZealandCOs export-led recovery and, despite a number of challenges, can look forward to a mainly positive outlook over the next five yearsC[yen].

So what were the key findings of the report and what significant trends did it pick for the sector in coming years? Carter replied that it identified a robust economic outlook for our primary sector C[pounds sterling]on the back of an increasingly strong demand from developing economies, most notably ChinaC[yen].

Agricultural and forestry export earnings from China rose from $1.47 billion to $2.19 billion in the year to December 31, 2010 (up 49 percent), with whole milk powder increasing from $250 million to $610 million. Forestry export earnings increased from $529 million to $864 million (up 63 percent). …

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