Apr 13, 2008

Oram on Clark

The trip might change business perceptions of the prime MInister. Many of the delegates would have seen her up close for the first time. They would have appreciated her deep knowledge of many NZ businesses, her keen interest in their ambitions and strategic issues and her excellent skills communicating and negotiating on their behalf with foreign leaders.

A senior European trade diplomat who saw her in action on a New Zealand trade mission to India in October 2004 once told this columnist that Helen Clark was the best politician he had seen play that role, with the exception of the-then finance minister of Ireland.

Our free trade agreement with China is testament to that.

Our own observation is that thee PM has won some votes from the Chinese business community but the rest are so angry about Winston that she won't make any headway there unless there is bold action : fire Winston. Should she do this Clark will win back some votes from the wider business community.