The 2018 Budget’s allocation of $1 billion towards R&D tax credits will be welcomed by exporting and manufacturing firms according to industry commentators.
Catherine Beard, executive director for ExportNZ and ManufacturingNZ, says innovation support was particularly valued by exporters and manufacturers.
“Setting up a tax credit scheme in addition to the support available through Callaghan Innovation will increase the support available for business.
“While the firms that were getting Growth Grants under the Callaghan Innovation scheme were very happy with that support, there were a large number of companies that were getting little or no support.
She says that the new approach should be more broadly targeted and hopes it will accelerate business investment in R&D across the board.
“ExportNZ and ManufacturingNZ are working with industry and officials to ensure we get the scheme to be as effective as is possible for both the large and small businesses we represent.
“Exporters will also be supportive of additional funding going to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade in these increasingly troubling times when it comes to talk of trade wars, and higher tariffs and non-tariff barriers.
Catherine adds that New Zealand officials work hard on behalf of exporters and as a small country they have to do it with fewer boots on the ground, so this boost will be welcome.
“With regard to greater investment in the Pacific to the tune of $714 million, ExportNZ and ManufacturingNZ would want to ensure that this is quality spending.
“By ‘quality spending’ we mean that New Zealand firms are given good opportunity to tender for any building or infrastructure projects and that tenders are let on the basis of quality rather than cheapest price.
“New Zealand firms can compete on quality products and services and the Pacific Islands need quality that will last the distance and be enduring solutions.
“Spending in the Pacific which included New Zealand business solutions would be ‘win-win’,” Catherine Beard says.