Chinese Businesses Suggest Ways To Grow Economy

I attended a very special event at Parliament tonight.  Around 150 Chinese business leaders were invited by Pansy Wong to speak direct to the Prime Minister and relevant Ministers – Groser (Trade), Coleman (Immigration) and Wong on how we can get the economy growing again.  Tim Gibson from NZTE, a couple of other officials and I were privileged to be included on the invitation list.  What struck me was the similarity of view from this group of business people from one ethnic source to the wider views of the business community.  Immigration (particularly business migration), tourism and education were seen a key drivers of the recovery.  There was also a strong call for an improved export performance and a need to harness the skills of the wider New Zealand diaspora.  The PM spoke well.  Some of you regard me as too optimistic.  You should have heard the PM tonight.   Many in the audience supported this assessment.  Opportunity was a common theme of the comments from the floor.  I agree fully with suggestions from Ministers Coleman and Groser that this event become an annual one.



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