23 May 2012

Export sector wants key focus on research

7:19 am on 23 May 2012

Exporters and manufacturers want research, development and innovation to be a key focus of the Government's plans to boost economic growth, even as it keeps a tight rein on spending.

Finance Minister Bill English is expected to deliver another near-zero Budget on Thursday, as part of the Government's efforts to return to surplus in the 2014-2015 financial year.

Export New Zealand executive director Catherine Beard says the Government needs to continue to be careful with its spending.

There is some low-quality Government spending which could be redirected into helping grow the economy, but issues such as raising the retirement age and interest-free student loans seem to have become politically sacrosanct, she sayd.

And with spending so tight, Ms Beard says manufacturers and exporters are supportive of public private partnerships as a way to fund investment.