The National Government's asset sales policy opens the door for Chinese Government-owned companies to steal intellectual property from our energy companies and undermine their competitive advantage in the export market, Green Party Co-leader Russel Norman said today.
John Lee, an international expert on Chinese foreign policy, this week warned that Chinese State-Owned Enterprises have been linked to theft of intellectual property abroad and are essentially tools of the Chinese Government.
"Asset sales put our energy companies' competitive edge at risk," said Dr Norman.
"National's asset sales policy would allow Chinese Government-owned companies to purchase major interests in our energy companies, giving them the ability to appoint board members.
"That opens an avenue for the valuable intellectual property of our companies to be appropriated by the Chinese Government, as has happened during other overseas investments by these companies.
"This is a particular risk in the case of Mighty River Power, which is a world leader in geothermal technology with significant potential as an exporter.
"We can't afford to put that competitive advantage at risk.
"Additionally, the law that National and its allies passed this week is so loose that it allows several SOEs owned by a single foreign government, or other linked corporations, to each buy up to 10% of our energy companies.
"They could then coordinate their actions to exercise significant control over our energy assets.
"This is just another example of why asset sales are bad for New Zealand, and why the Greens will keep fighting for the Government to drop this ideologically-driven policy," said Dr Norman.
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