U.S. firms in New Zealand need skilled migrants

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The American Chamber of Commerce in New Zealand has stated that for the third consecutive year, United States companies based in New Zealand are hoping for more skilled workers.

New Zealand has been facing labor shortages in recent years and one of the possible solutions is more skilled migration.

The annual Business Climate Survey found that labor shortages were the key concern for 70 percent of respondents, up from 33 percent in the 2006 survey.

The president of the NZ American Chamber of Commerce, Mark Fitz-Gerald, said that businesses are urging the government to ease rules for skilled migrants wishing to come to New Zealand, as well as improve educational standards and provide tax incentives for training.

US businesses are not the only ones complaining about the labor shortage. An Auckland Chamber of Commerce survey released in June 2007 found that the most persistent issue for businesses is finding suitable staff.

New Zealand is one of the few countries to provide a points-based immigration scheme that allows skilled migrants who qualify to come to New Zealand to find work and gain permanent residence.