A plan for opening our border safely to international students, business travellers and essential skilled workers should be the incoming government’s highest priority, according to ExportNZ’s Election Manifesto released today.
"ExportNZ holds the view that New Zealand will need to learn to live with Covid-19 in such a way that businesses can continue to operate, trade and travel safely," executive director Catherine Beard says.
"Definitions of 'essential' and 'non-essential' businesses should be done away with and the judgement instead be on the ability to operate safely."
Catherine says the incoming government can boost exports by supporting free trade and the multilateral trading system.
In addition, she says further multilateral trade liberalisation would deliver huge benefits to New Zealand: the OECD estimates that New Zealand’s real GDP would increase by $18 billion over the long run if G20 tariffs and non-tariff barriers were halved.
This scenario would also create over 42,000 skilled jobs and 20,000 low-skilled jobs.
Catherine says there also needs to be greater exporter support in Asia and Africa – developing markets where the going is tougher, but long-term opportunities are significant.
"Foreign Direct Investment should also be made easier in New Zealand. According to the OECD New Zealand ranks poorly when it comes to being an easy place to invest and it has only become harder with recent changes to legislation."
She says the Government should also support better MƒÅ¬Åori educational outcomes to be able to fully participate in the MƒÅ¬Åori and broader economy.