28 November 2007

Business environment positive but New Zealand immigration must be increased according to US businesses

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The American Chamber of Commerce in New Zealand (AmCham) has strongly urged the New Zealand government to "make it easier for skilled immigrants to settle here". New Zealand immigration is seen as a solution to current market limitations.

Although the association's 2007 Business Climate Survey found that the New Zealand business climate is positive, it revealed the country's chronic skills and labour shortage is a key constraint for US companies operating in New Zealand.

"Nearly 70 per cent of the companies anticipate sales growth this year while 60 per cent said they were looking to expand their New Zealand operations or make new investment in another venture here," said AmCham president Mark Fitz-Gerald.

However, skilled worker shortages was a key constraint for nearly 70 per cent of respondents in the annual survey, up from 52 per cent last year.

The report showed that difficulties in getting skilled workers is slowing business growth, although the country remains competitive in terms of the cost of establishing business there.

AmCham is to set up a think tank to develop potential solutions for discussion with the government and other relevant parties early in the new year.

New Zealand needs skilled migrants: Anyone interested in New Zealand immigration should complete the New Zealand Visa Bureau's online New Zealand visa assessment to see if they qualify for a New Zealand visa.

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