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Businesses to work closer with Auckland-based reps

25 July 2005


Businesses to work closer with Auckland-based trade representatives

Providing easier access to offshore markets was the theme of presentations from international trade representatives and members of the Auckland’s Consular Corps to North Shore businesses.

Trade representatives from Belgium, Australia, Britain, Malta, Bangladesh, Norway and Germany were consistent in demonstrating their interest in building closer business relations with North Shore, in presentations held at Massey University on Thursday. Gateways to important international markets and strategic alliances were among the advantages outlined.

The presentations and the networking session that followed, highlighted critical points for export-focused businesses, said Enterprise North Shore Chief Executive, Terry Hoskins. “Businesses were heartened by the messages of the 25 Trade Commissioners and representatives present at the event. Our feeling is that proactive businesses will learn a great deal about offshore opportunities by building relationships with and staying close to New Zealand-based trade commissioners and representatives. This should be a part of their international marketing plans.”

Varying opportunities provides wide business potential

The nature of business opportunities varies among the 60 or more offshore consulates based in Auckland, said Andrew Williams, Honorary Vice Consul and Trade Commissioner for Belgium, speaking on behalf of the Auckland Consular Corp. “But these people are the New Zealand-based advocates for trade opportunities with their home countries. A good proportion of their services for businesses are free or subsidized and their information is accurate and reliable. They can make the offshore connections that businesses need, either to improve their sources of raw materials or in improving a business’ reach into important export markets,” said Andrew Williams.

For example, expansion of the middle classes within Bangladesh’s 140 million population was providing new opportunities for businesses, said Ataur Rahman, Honorary Consul of Bangladesh in his presentation. In contrast, Norway, despite having a population of just 3.5 million, was one of the world’s richest economies and had great potential for New Zealand to attract more foreign fee-paying students, explained Reidar Sveaas, Honorary Consul and Trade Commissioner for Norway.

Assistance in setting up appointments and providing support to solve logistical issues was behind the Australian Trade Commission’s development of an Australian Business Club, said Australian trade representative, Sharl Gedye, in his presentation to businesses. “This is helping us by promoting links with New Zealand-based businesses ahead of the Melbourne Commonwealth Games.”

A similar message was expressed by Barbara Harris, acting Director of Trade for the British Consulate-General, who reminded businesses that the United Kingdom remained the second largest investor in New Zealand. “It pays to make your business known to us, if you want to join trade delegations to the UK.”

Presentations from Monique Surges of the New Zealand German Business Association and from Andrew Williams respectively, stressed the importance of North Shore companies working via major European gateways. Two-thirds of the world’s trade fairs are held in Germany, said Ms Surges, making her country important in reaching many other markets; whereas Belgium played a major role as P & O Shipping’s the first European stop on trips from New Zealand, said Mr Williams. Both countries are eager to welcome business opportunities from New Zealand.

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About Enterprise North Shore:

Established in 1993 by North Shore City Council, Enterprise North Shore Trust is North Shore City’s economic development agency. It serves as North Shore City's advocate for sustainable economic development. Enterprise North Shore supports, promotes and encourages business growth, investment and employment in the City.
See: www.ens.org.nz/business/development

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