In the US, Australia, the United Kingdom, Canada, Finland, Ireland and other countries, the growth of the Internet and other related new technologies have become the catalyst for the creation of ‘knowledge economies’. The new information and communication technologies have created global markets for goods and services. Countries that have encouraged their people through education and life-long learning and by investing heavily in research and development (R&D) are well positioned to take advantage of these new global markets. Along with globalisation has come the death of distance. Thanks to the Internet, New Zealand is no longer remote from the rest of the world.
But New Zealand’s economy is still too dependent on producing commodities for export. While efforts over the last fifteen years to diversify markets have been very successful, we still need to expand our limited range of products. We must take the next important step and transform New Zealand from a pastoral economy into a knowledge-driven economy. For New Zealand, the Internet is the modern equivalent of the freezer ship that revolutionised our economy last century. If New Zealanders do not seize the opportunities provided by the knowledge economy, we will survive only as an amusement park and holiday land for the citizens of more successful developed economies.
This article puts New Zealand into world perspective by assessing its knowledge economy benchmarks against its competitors. It outlines the theoretical background to ‘‘new growth theory'' and delineates the lessons of that theory, especially for New Zealand. It treats the key issues for New Zealand’s emergence as a knowledge economy, including education, the M ori dimension, immigration, research and development, venture capital, export policy and telecommunications regulation.
Field of Research
Socio Economic Objective
970115 Expanding Knowledge in Commerce, Management, Tourism and Services
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