Which is better: borrowing money from foreign banks to try to improve businesses and create employment or accepting foreign investment which does that?
Since we don’t save enough ourselves those are the two options we have if we want to pay for the first world infrastructure and services we need and investment is usually preferable to debt.
Unfortunately, as Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce says, not enough New Zealanders appreciate the benefits of foreign investment and economic growth:
. . . “There a sort of a sense among some people that there is some magic by which you can achieve jobs without considering the tradeoffs.”
It was not enough to just want higher skills or just green tech jobs. “We need to take a bit more of a realistic understanding of what does create jobs and encourage investments.”
Economic growth required the use of capital, resources, skilled labour, infrastructure, innovation and a market.
“So all those things have to be managed. It’s not a case of carte blanche but every time you say ‘I don’t want that’ that shuts off another opportunity.”
This country was built on immigration and foreign investment.
JC left a comment on Thursday which pointed out:
. . . prior to 1948 most farmland was owned by “foreigners”, and that the period 1900-1950 is regarded at the Golden Age when NZ was in the top three countries in the Western World for prosperity and quality of life.. despite an awful lot of farm profits still being sent “Home”, and much of our farm implements, clothing, machinery, cars and trucks being imported from the UK. . .
The foreigners weren’t always welcomed, bigotry, ignorance and xenophobia aren’t new. They haven’t always been aimed at the same target but the current hysteria isn’t the first time Chinese have been treated badly here.
The government imposed a poll tax on them in 1881 which wasn’t repealed until 1944.
But if it wasn’t for China we would not have weathered the global financial crisis and on-going uncertainty nearly as well as we have.
The free trade agreement with China doesn’t mean it is easy to do business there; Cactus Kate has listed 10 of the challenges. But it is already providing a very important market for us and there will be more opportunities for us there and through their investment here
The launch yesterday of the NZ inc China strategy by Prime Minister John Key should be welcomed.
. .. .”Trade with China is one of the success stories of the New Zealand export sector over the past decade or so. China is also New Zealand’s largest source of foreign students, and our fourth biggest tourist market and we plan to develop these areas further.”
The strength of the relationship with China is underpinned by the Chinese community in New Zealand, which numbers more than 147,000 and is growing. . .
Most of these people make a positive contribution to our country. They are generally under-represented in negative statistics and over represented in positive ones.
I wonder what they think of the criticism being levelled at the land of their ancestors?