| Wellington Nov 23, 2016 | -Trade Minister Todd McClay and opposition MPs will travel to Europe and Iran over the next week to take part in a number of trade-related events.
Mr McClay says New Zealand needs to engage more broadly in trade-related activities in Europe and this mission would offer a valuable opportunity to promote New Zealand goods and services in these lucrative markets.
"Italy, France and the United Kingdom are collectively worth more than $9.2 billion of two-way trade and are home to 190 million consumers. That is significant.
“The mission will engage directly with New Zealand businesses and their counterparts in these three countries and we will look to open doors to further enhance our high quality reputation and trade presence.
“I am grateful to New Zealand First Leader and Northland MP, the Right Honourable Winston Peters for agreeing to participate in the business-focused legs of the Europe visit,” says Mr McClay.
The Trade Minister will then travel to Iran with a delegation of 17 New Zealand companies.
“Iran has traditionally been a very important market for our sheep meat and butter. Earlier this year the visiting Iranian Foreign Minister said Iran presented a $1 billion prospect for New Zealand. This mission will be an important first step towards delivering on this exciting opportunity,” says Mr McClay.
Labour has designated their Trade spokesman David Clark to join the Iran delegation.
Mr McClay will also visit Warsaw to lobby the Polish government for an EU-NZ FTA.
Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment Minister Steven Joyce has today welcomed figures showing a growing proportion of domestic graduates are completing qualifications in STEM-related subjects (science, technology, engineering and maths).
“More people are qualified to move into jobs where STEM skills are required,” Mr Joyce says. “The Tertiary Education Strategy 2015-2019 set a target to prioritise getting industries the skills they needed. This new report shows that the Government is delivering on that.”
In engineering and related technologies, the number of graduates reached 2,075 in 2015, an increase of more than 500 from 2008. In 2015, engineering graduates represented 5.0 per cent of all graduates at bachelors level or higher, an increase from 4.3 per cent in 2008.
“Further to that, the number of female graduates completing civil engineering qualifications increased 82 per cent from 2008 to 2015. Females now represent 19 per cent of civil engineering graduates. Women completing electrical and electronic engineering degrees also rose 71 per cent from 2008.
“Graduates completing Information technology qualifications increased to 1,610 in 2015, an increase of 515 from 2008. We expect that to increase further with the introduction of three new ICT Graduate Schools in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch.”
Natural and physical sciences also increased as a proportion of graduates at bachelors level or higher, reaching 9.6 per cent in 2015, up from 9.0 per cent in 2008. The number of graduates completing a qualification in this field was 4,000 in 2015, an increase of 765 from 2008.
Today’s report is an extension of research released earlier this year as part of the What did they do? The field of study of domestic graduates 2011-2014. This extended research now includes figures through to 2015 and draws a comparison back to 2008.
Overall, the number of domestic students completing a qualification at a tertiary education provider was 121,700 in 2015, an increase from 107,285 in 2008.
What did they do? The field of study of domestic graduates 2008-2015 is available at https://www.educationcounts.govt.nz/publications/tertiary_education/education-outcomes/what-did-they-do-the-field-of-study-of-domestic-graduates-2008-2015
More analysis of people completing qualifications at tertiary education providers can be found at http://www.educationcounts.govt.nz/statistics/tertiary-education/retenti...
Trade Minister Todd McClay and Malaysian Minister of International Trade and Industry YB Dato’ Sri Mustapa Mohamed met at APEC in Lima today to conclude the first General Review of the Malaysia-New Zealand Free Trade Agreement (MNZFTA).
The FTA entered into force on 1 August 2010.
“The strong trade and investment flows between the two economies are underpinned by a close and cooperative working relationship,” says Mr McClay.
“It is a solid platform to develop further trade and investment opportunities in both our countries.”
The Review Report concludes that the operation and implementation of the Agreement is serving the Agreement’s objectives to strengthen Malaysia and New Zealand’s bilateral relationship and to liberalise and expand bilateral trade.
“Both Malaysia and New Zealand have delivered on their commitments around tariff elimination, services liberalisation, and the treatment of investments,” says Mr McClay.
New Zealand’s goods exports to Malaysia increased by 34 per cent from NZ$705 million in 2009 to NZ$943 million in 2015.
Malaysia’s goods exports to New Zealand increased by 70 per cent from NZ$0.9 billion in 2009 to NZ$1.46 billion in 2015.
Services exports, investment flows and visitor numbers have also all increased since MNZFTA’s entry into force.
“Both Minister Mustapa and I are confident that the FTA will continue to develop and deepen the trade, investment and economic links between Malaysia and New Zealand,” says Mr McClay.
Prime Minister John Key today announced the launch of negotiations to upgrade the New Zealand - China Free Trade Agreement (FTA).
The announcement followed a meeting this morning with Trade Minister Todd McClay and Chinese Commerce Minister Gao Hucheng at the APEC Summit in Lima, Peru. Mr Key and President Xi welcomed the commitment to an upgrade at the APEC Leaders’ retreat today.
“New Zealand was the first developed country to negotiate and conclude an FTA with China, and I’m pleased that today we have reached the fifth ‘first’ in our relationship, as the first developed country to launch an upgrade of an FTA,” says Mr Key.
“It has been eight years since our FTA with China came into force and it has exceeded all expectations. It has an enviable record and showcases to the world the importance of trade liberalisation.
“The upgrade will be an opportunity to deepen and broaden our comprehensive strategic partnership.
“It will ensure that our FTA continues to drive our relationship forward and takes into account the FTAs that China has negotiated with other trading partners since 2008.”
The negotiations will look to improve or enhance the broad range of areas already covered by the FTA. This gives either party the ability to raise issues of importance to them, and includes technical barriers to trade, customs procedures, cooperation and trade facilitation, rules of origin, services, and environmental cooperation. It will also address a number of newer areas such as competition policy and e-commerce.
A first round of negotiations will be held in the first half of 2017.
China is New Zealand’s second-largest goods and services export market and our largest export destination for goods. In the year ending June 2016, the value of goods and services exports totalled $12.2 billion.
Since the FTA, New Zealand’s goods exports to China have quadrupled, reaching $9.2 billion, and services exports have tripled, reaching $3.0 billion.
His Majesty King Abdullah II of Jordan will make an official visit to New Zealand from November 28-30, Prime Minister John Key announced today.
“I am pleased to welcome King Abdullah’s reciprocal visit to New Zealand, which follows the 2013 visit to Jordan by our previous Governor General,” says Mr Key.
“New Zealand and Jordan have a strong bilateral relationship, one which has grown even closer through our time serving together on the Security Council last year.
“King Abdullah’s visit will be an opportunity to hear Jordan’s important perspectives on Middle East issues, including Syria, the Middle East Peace Process, Iraq and broader efforts to counter ISIL.”
King Abdullah and his delegation arrive in Wellington on November 28 for a series of events, including an official welcome at Government House, a State dinner hosted by the Governor General, a wreath laying at Pukeahu National War Memorial and talks with the Governor General, Prime Minister and Ministers.
King Abdullah, a former military helicopter pilot and commander of Jordan’s Special Forces, will also visit the New Zealand Defence Force’s Battle Training Facility in Ardmore.
Science and Innovation Minister Steven Joyce has today announced that the Centre for Space Science Technology (CSST) has been selected to become New Zealand’s second Regional Research Institute.
“The Centre for Space Science Technology, which will be based in Alexandra, Central Otago, will undertake research to explore the use of space-based measurements and satellite imagery unique to New Zealand to meet the specific needs of our regional industries,” Mr Joyce says.
“It will establish an international satellite data exchange and collaborate with leading researchers and businesses, both here and abroad, to design, build and launch New Zealand’s first fleet of cube satellites.”
The Government will provide funding of up to $14.7 million over four years for the new institute with additional funding from industry, and it will operate as a private, independently governed organisation.
“In its proposal to establish a Regional Research Institute, CSST presented a strong business case that will support the development and growth of New Zealand’s space economy by filling critical gaps in the collection and processing of New Zealand’s satellite data,” says Mr Joyce.
“A standout aspect of the proposal was that CSST will also have research hubs in Dunedin, Canterbury and Taranaki, further encouraging R&D and innovation in regional New Zealand – a key objective of the Regional Research Institute initiative.”
CSST is the second successful proposal under the initiative following the launch of the New Zealand Research Institute of Viticulture and Oenology (NZRIVO), based in Marlborough, in October.
A third shortlisted proposal by Earth+Vantage, based in Southland, which proposed undertaking research using real time satellite and ground-based data to lift primary industry productivity was unsuccessful in its application but will have the option to put forward a proposal for the second round of funding. An additional sum of $2.3 million has also been set aside for technical collaboration between CSST and Earth+Vantage if this proves possible.
Minister Joyce today also opened a second round of funding for the Regional Research Institutes initiative.
Regional Research Institutes were announced in Budget 2015. In Budget 2016, the Government set aside $40 million of additional funds to support the initiative, bringing the total funding in contingency to $65 million over four years.
Proposals are invited from groups of businesses, researchers and private investors who are seeking to collaborate to establish regional institutes that will deliver commercially focused and industry-relevant research to their region and New Zealand as a whole.
“During the initial funding round, a number of credible and exciting proposals were received from all across New Zealand on a wide range of research and development interests,” says Mr Joyce.
“Our regional economies have different resources and strengths. These institutes will focus on scientific research relevant to a particular region, with a strong emphasis on the effective transfer of research into new technologies, new firms, and new products and services.”
It is expected that two or three additional institutes will be established over the next four to five years in areas outside Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch.
Proposals are due to MBIE by 27 January 2017. Shortlisted proposals will be invited to present to a panel of experts and, if selected, will develop business cases for consideration.
More information on the Regional Research Institutes initiative is available at http://www.mbie.govt.nz/info-services/sectors-industries/regions-cities/...
Trade Minister Todd McClay has welcomed the third reading of the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement Amendment Bill in Parliament today.
The passage of this Bill is a significant step towards New Zealand ratifying the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).
“It will be a signal of the commitment that New Zealand has for the continued liberalisation of international trade. At times when there is uncertainty in the rest of the world, New Zealand’s consistent and trusted voice of negotiating trade outcomes that are good for our economy needs to be heard.
“Our vision for a mechanism to enhance trade between four countries grew into the largest trade agreement to date and which places us in the middle of a region encompassing nearly 40 per cent of global GDP. We can be very proud of that, but we must continue to push for new trading opportunities and to continue to push for trade liberalisation wherever we can,” says Mr McClay.
The Bill makes all the necessary changes to primary legislation required by New Zealand to ratify TPP. The amendments introduced by the Bill – and other related changes to New Zealand law – will take effect only from the date that TPP enters into force for New Zealand.
TPP provides for an initial period of up to two years for all TPP signatories to complete their own domestic procedures required to ratify TPP. The Government hopes that other TPP signatories will continue their efforts to complete their domestic processes.
“Whilst acknowledging that there remain obstacles to the agreement coming into force, we need to take time to allow the new US administration time to fully consider its trade agenda.
“Until then, New Zealand will continue its own, well-proven path to openness and inclusiveness in the global trade arena,” says Mr McClay.
Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Paul Goldsmith has welcomed the passing of the Patents (Trans-Tasman Patent Attorneys and Other Matters) Amendment Bill, which will implement a joint trans-Tasman licensing regime for New Zealand and Australian patent attorneys.
Patent attorneys make up a small profession providing specialist advice to innovative businesses on the protection and exploitation of intellectual property.
“The two countries share over 500 trans-Tasman patent attorneys. With many of them already registered in both jurisdictions it makes sense to take advantage of economies of scale and save the profession time, money and effort.
“A modern regime for regulating patent attorneys ensures New Zealand businesses have optimal access to high quality, reliable advice,” says Mr Goldsmith.
Key changes in the legislation include:
Creation of a single trans-Tasman register;
A trans-Tasman code of conduct;
Creation of a patent attorneys disciplinary tribunal; and
Consistent qualifications for registration.
The trans-Tasman regime will commence on 24 February 2017. Further information can be found on MBIE’s website. Information on the transition from current national registration regime to the new trans-Tasman regime can be found here.
Foreign Minister Murray McCully will travel to the Middle East next week to meet with leaders and counterparts in Jordan, Israel, and the occupied Palestinian territories and to attend the Sir Bani Yas Forum in Abu Dhabi.
“New Zealand continues to serve as a member of the United Nations Security Council until the end of the year and we remain focused on doing what we can to help address the current conflicts in the Middle East,” Mr McCully says.
In addition to meeting with regional leaders Minister McCully will attend the 7th Sir Bani Yas Forum in Abu Dhabi. Hosted annually by the United Arab Emirates, this high-level retreat is a leading venue for discussing peace and security issues in the Middle East.
New Zealand Party’s forecast based on own pre-election analysis
New Zealand’s ACT Party predicts without qualification that Donald Trump will be the next president of the United States. The political party’s newsletter Free Press states flatly that “Clinton is bombing out.”
The party simultaneously forecasts that the “fallout” from Mr Trump’s election “will be like Brexit.” It will be “terrifying the day before and unnoticed the day after.”
The party’s Trump prediction is based on its own pre-election soundings in the lead up to New Zealand’s own general elections. The party does not amplify this demographic or statistical analysis.
But their prediction is taken to be a comparative one based on a broadly similar anglo-saxon English speaking and ethnic mix.
ACT New Zealand is a free market political party in New Zealand founded in 1993 by Roger Douglas the former finance minister generally credited with converting the economy from a regulated command one to its current enterprise status.
In spite of its Trump prediction the party is pessimistic about his actual effect and value of Trump in office. The party it says has long watched “neophyte” MPs and Ministers,” no matter how successful in their previous lives”, get thoroughly “gazumped” by bureaucrats with "30-40 years’" experience in their area.
This bureaucratic inertia quotient is cited as the reason the party believes that the Trump presidency will in the event be a “fizzer.”. .
From the MSCNewsWire reporters desk - Monday 7 November 2016