Prime Minister Ardern touts New Zealand as a safe haven for investment

WELLINGTON: success in stopping has given insurance refuge advantage, allowing the country to be open to investment, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern he said Wednesday.

With only two new infections this week, New Zealand has slowed the spread of the virus in the community after a strict blockade stopped social and economic activity for more than a month.

Economic activity is slowly resuming, although many social constraints remain, and Ardern will decide next week on further relaxation.

We are ready to receive quality investments and offer a safe place for operations, both in the health and commercial sense, Ardern said in a press conference.

"By tackling the virus we have positioned our economy to be able to rebuild ahead of many others globally...that is our safe refuge strategic advantage."

The comments came after Microsoft Corp announced plans to establish its first data center region in New Zealand.

Ardern welcomed the move, saying New Zealand was open to similar strategic investments, with his government making more efforts to spread the word.

The New Zealand brand has always been that we are a strong, high-quality and reliable place to invest, he added. I would like to think that our response to this health crisis only further supports that approach.

Ardern has received worldwide praise for his leadership amid the pandemic, with news and social media reports highlighting people's desire to move to New Zealand as the rest of the world struggles with the virus.

But it faces the difficult task of restarting the $ 200 billion economy that depends on commerce and tourism, and growth is expected to slow significantly, costing hundreds of thousands of jobs.

New Zealand has always attracted ultra-wealthy investors willing to enjoy the unspoiled environment and scenic landscape of the Pacific island nation.

James Cameron, the Canadian director of Avatar and Titanic, has bought farmland near the capital, while US billionaire Peter Thiel has exploited several hundred acres of the South Island with views of snowy mountains.

But in 2018, the Ardern government banned many foreigners from buying property, blaming foreign speculators for raising house prices.