We can all agree that New Zealand needs more and higher-paying jobs. Jobs give people the income to support families, pay taxes to pay for public services, and encourage people to live here.

Jobs depend on businesses that are competitive – businesses that sell something people value as unique, or of better quality, or at a lower price.

To be competitive, businesses depend on six key things: Ideas and innovation to create business opportunities, money to build the business, access to raw materials, skilled people to work in the business, customers who want to buy the products, and public infrastructure such as electricity, broadband, and transport that the business depends on.

So the recipe is simple: if we want more and better jobs for New Zealanders, we need to encourage more businesses to be based here.

Making it easier for firms to access all six is the focus of the Government’s Business Growth Agenda.

As part of this, the Government is producing progress reports on each of the six areas to give businesses and the wider public a clear picture of what the Government has underway, and get their feedback to develop it and improve it. Our first two reports have just been issued.

The Building Innovation progress report gives a clear picture of the more than 50 policy initiatives the Government has underway to improve innovation, competition, and the commercialisation of smart ideas and research into new products.

One of the targets is to almost double the amount businesses spend on research and development – from 0.54 per cent of GDP to more than 1 per cent of GDP.
To get higher economic growth and greater prosperity, New Zealand as a whole has to invest more in innovation – it’s as simple as that.

The Building Export Markets progress report sets an ambitious target of increasing the contribution that exports make to our economy from 30 per cent to 40 per cent of GDP by 2025.This target is an important part of our plan to build a more competitive and productive economy.

The report also outlines the large number of policy actions that are underway. This includes telling a compelling New Zealand story, improving access to international markets, making it easier to trade, helping businesses internationalise, increasing value from tourism, growing international education, and strengthening high-value manufacturing and services.

Through our Business Growth Agenda, National is committed to actions that will provide opportunities for competitive companies to grow and create jobs.