New Zealand Announces Five-Point COVID-19 Economic Recovery Plan

The New Zealand PM, Jacinda Ardern, has recently released a five step plan to combat the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. New Zealand has been hailed as one of the countries that most effectively tackled the spread of the pandemic, and has successfully mitigated adversities faced by citizens and businesses. The five step program focuses on:

  • Investing in human resources
  • Increasing employment
  • Future planning
  • Supporting small businesses
  • Solidifying New Zealand’s position in the global economy

Businesspersons, workers and employees will benefit from several schemes. The Wage Subsidy Scheme has helped citizens and businesses sustain the immediate financial blow of the lockdowns. The government is now focusing on boosting economic activity by investing in training, jobs and infrastructure to introduce long-term changes for strengthening the economy.

Interest-free loans to assist small businesses (having 50 or less employees) through rapid cash flow support will be extended till the end of 2020. Above 93,000 local businesses have applied for loans of $16,600, on average, to finance immediate expenditures and get back on their feet. $6.4 million of these loans have already been repaid since the scheme was introduces in May 2020.

Free trades training programs and apprenticeships in targeted sectors will help the workforce develop skills required to enter industries that will witness growth in the near future. This is backed up by an ‘Apprenticeship Boost’ – which provides $16,000 to companies for taking on new apprentices or retaining existing apprentices. The amount is paid out over the course of the initial two years of training.

Through these programs, New Zealand is trying to grow its skilled workforce, which will be essential for supporting infrastructural investments. Unemployed persons are being redirected towards industries that are facing workforce shortages – such as agriculture and conservation – through programs such as GoDairy, which equips people with skills required to work in the dairy sector. The government is also creating 11,000 new jobs in the environment sector, to employ people and improve environmental conservation.

Tourism has been hard-hit, and will be protected by the Tourism Recovery fund. This includes a program that will safeguard key tourism assets by providing urgent funding to help tourism operators remain afloat throughout the recovery period. Regional tourism agencies are also being supported through targeted funding, which will allow local operators to attract domestic tourists until international borders are reopened.

Finally, to position the country globally, the government is offering support to exporters for connecting with the global markets and partners, negotiating free trade agreements with the European Union and United Kingdom, and creating a 10-year plan for boosting export earnings in the primary sector.

All of these steps have cemented New Zealand as a country that focuses on the welfare of its citizens and business owners – which has in turn created more interest in immigration. To find out more about moving to this idyllic country, seek the informed guidance of India’s most experienced immigration consultants at Abhinav.

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