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The Role Of Technology In Transforming The New Zealand Economy

2147 words - 9 pages

I have also attached the paper in a word document due to formatting and graph issuesExecutive SummaryThis overview paper proposes an integrated approach for innovation policy, focusing on the particular role of technology, to support the Government's economic goals. It includes a review of the role of technology in the New Zealand economy as a basis for identifying priorities for innovation policy.Compared to our trading partners we have experienced slower economic growth over the last few decades, slipping in OECD rankings from 9th in 1955 to 20th currently. While low technology products still dominate our exports, other nations have vigorously applied technological innovation to develop high value goods and services.We are nevertheless poised to drive more rapid economic growth from knowledge-based industries and high technology exports, with increasing business expenditure in R&D and increasing innovation activity. The Government's innovation policies will affect the extent to which we realise this potential growth.This paper sets up a series of four further papers, which will more definitely position technology policy as an important component of a wider innovation policy. These papers will identify options for the Government to: Expand our knowledge base, by upskilling researchers and technologists so they can generate new knowledge and access knowledge from around the world; Enhance our ideas engines, by developing better incentives and mechanisms for Crown Research Institutes and Universities to commercialise their research in partnership with the private sector; Grow technological capability in firms, by increasing the flows of researchers into business; and Build links between research, education and enterprise by integrating policy threads across government.2.0 BackgroundVarious Government policies can contribute to increasing the long-run rate of growth of the New Zealand economy. This paper provides information on the place of, and opportunities for, technology in the development of the New Zealand economy. It looks at options for enhancing the role of technology and innovation policy in economic growth.3.0 Technology and New Zealand's Economic PerformanceOver recent decades, our economic growth has not kept up with nations that we trade with, nor with others that are our competitors. In 1955, as an economy very reliant on exports from our agricultural industries, we were ranked 9th for per capita GDP out of 24 nations in the OECD. Almost half a century later we rank 20th out of 29 nations, and our exports are still dominated by low value commodities (Table 1).Table 1New Zealand Merchandise Exports ($Million)1999 %Dairy 3,862 17.9%Meat 2,874 13.3%Wool 754 3.5%Fish 1,249 5.8%Horticulture 1,547 7.2%Forestry products 2,446 11.3%Aluminium 873 4.0%Machinery &transport equipment ...

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