'Kiwifruit, tourism not knowledge industries'

Just what is the knowledge economy anyway, asks Mike Doig, chief executive of Victoria University's commercial arm, Victoria Link.

Just what is the knowledge economy anyway, asks Mike Doig, chief executive of Victoria University's commercial arm, Victoria Link.

A wrong idea of the knowledge economy is being disseminated by "vested interests" in industries like horticulture and tourism, says Doig, whose organisation conducts research, consulting and other services for the university.

New Zealand will have difficulty establishing a "knowledge economy" while misdefinition of the term persists, says Doig, by organisations anxious to see themselves get a slice of any funds or assistance in pushing New Zealand

towards a knowledge economy. "A

knowledge industry must be human - capital or technology - intensive," he says. "Tourism or [cultivating] kiwifruit does not qualify."

As a guide to identifying the right industries to promote, we should look at the salary profile, he says. Where intellectual capital is the main asset, there will be a large number of highly paid people. This is definitely not the case in tourism or horticulture so they are not knowledge-economy industries, no matter who might represent them as such, he says.

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