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Mayor leads Auckland businesses to Korea and Taiwan

News Release
Office of the Mayor

1 October 2012

Mayor leads Auckland businesses to Korea and Taiwan

Len Brown is leading a trade mission to South Korea and Taiwan next week which will open doors for Auckland businesses to two key Asia-Pacific economies.

The Mayor will lead representatives of 17 Auckland businesses and organisations to five cities from October 7 - 19.

The mission coincides with the 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations between New Zealand and Korea.

“These are dynamic economies in what many commentators identify as the key region in the global economy now and in the coming years. It is important Auckland has connections and visibility in these markets,” says Len Brown.

“Our recently launched Economic Development Strategy [EDS] identifies the need for Auckland to become a thriving Asia-Pacific innovation-driven business hub, working in partnership with other council organisations, central government, and our private sector partners to achieve this. Trade missions like this are integral to that goal,” says Len Brown.

Businesses participating are from amongst EDS priority sectors – infrastructure, ICT, investment, export education, and screen. They are from sectors that together represent 36 per cent of the Auckland economy.

“The aim of this mission is to provide tangible, productive opportunities for Auckland businesses in the Korean and Taiwanese markets, and to strengthen our strategic ties with our partner cities and the economic and political centres of Seoul and Taipei.”

Councillor Arthur Anae will support the Mayor and delegation in Korea and Councillor George Wood in Taiwan. Mayors and local government officials are highly respected in Asia, and being part of a mayoral-led delegation will give Auckland businesses access they may not have independently.

The visits to Busan and Taichung also reciprocate visits made by delegations from the two cities to the Sea Edge Symposium held in Auckland in March 2012.

Delegates will participate in a range of tailored business sector meetings, site visits, business briefings and forums, official receptions and networking functions. The Mayor will also meet key city officials.

Employers and Manufacturers Association Chief Executive Kim Campbell says missions like this are a good way for Auckland businesses to connect with international markets.

“Doors open to places most people don’t know exist when you travel with the Mayor of a major city like Auckland. If we are going to meet our growth and prosperity aspirations for Auckland we are going to have to find new sources of revenue and investment, and top-level trade missions are a superb way to make commercial and political connections. I encourage Auckland business to support Mayor Len Brown’s mission to Asia.”

The mission is organised by Auckland Council and supported by Auckland Tourism Events and Economic Development (ATEED), the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT), New Zealand Trade and Enterprise (NZTE), the Consulate of the Republic of Korea in Auckland, the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Wellington and the New Zealand Commerce and Industry Office in Taipei, and Auckland’s partner cities of Busan, Pohang and Taichung.

Delegates will travel to Busan, Pohang, Seoul, Taichung and Taipei from October 7 - 19.

New Zealand and Korea:

• Korea is New Zealand’s 5th largest bilateral trading partner, with two-way trade of NZ$3.14 billion (year ending June 2012).

• Negotiations for a free trade agreement (FTA) with Korea are currently underway.

• Korea is the 7th largest inbound visitor market with 52,464 Korean visitor arrivals to New Zealand (year ending August 2012).

• Korea is the second largest source of fee-paying students in Auckland (year ending December 2010).

• Approximately 25,000 Korean people live in the Auckland region and 15,308 New Zealand residents visited Korea (year ending April 2012).

New Zealand and Taiwan:

• Taiwan is New Zealand’s 12th largest export market with two-way trade of NZ$1.63 billion (year ending June 2012).

• Taiwan and New Zealand (through the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Wellington and the New Zealand Commerce and Industry Office in Taipei) recently commenced negotiations for a bilateral economic cooperation agreement.

• New Zealand’s Venture Investment Fund (NZVIF) and Taiwan’s National Development Fund (NDF) have recently announced a partnership that opens new doors for potential investors.

• In 2011, China Airlines (Taiwan) recommenced flights from Taipei to Auckland via Brisbane three times per week. In addition, China Airlines recently announced an increase in its flights to Auckland (via Australia) from the current three flights per week to a daily service, starting from 28 October 2012. These developments contribute to the significant education and tourism arrivals – Taiwan is the 17th largest inbound market with 18,464 visitors (year ending August 2012).

• There is a large Taiwanese community in New Zealand and the New Zealand community in Taiwan is growing.

• In May, the two organisations that represent New Zealand and Taiwan’s respective universities signed an Arrangement of Academic Cooperation. It provides a foundation for establishing stronger links and identifying specific areas for student and academic exchange and research cooperation.

Auckland Council-led Trade Mission to South Korea and Taiwan
October 2012

What is this mission?

• Mayor Len Brown is leading a delegation of selected Auckland business executives to five cities from 7 – 19 October 2012. This is Auckland Council’s third international trade mission.

Who is going on this mission?

• Len Brown is leading the mission, assisted by Councillor Arthur Anae in South Korea and Councillor George Wood in Taiwan (Cr Wood oversaw the sister city relationship with Taichung as Mayor of North Shore City).

• They will lead a group of business executives from Auckland companies from amongst the priority sectors of investment, ICT, infrastructure, education and screen/creative. These sectors represent 36% of the Auckland economy.

Why is Len Brown leading this mission?

• A mayoral-led mission will open doors both politically and commercially in these key markets that may not be opened as readily by businesses travelling independently.

• The Mayor has been invited by Auckland’s sister cities of Busan, Pohang and Taichung. He will also visit the economic powerhouse cities of Seoul, Taipei and New Taipei.

• The visits to Busan and Taichung reciprocate visits made by delegations of these two cities when they attended the Sea Edge Symposium in Auckland in March 2012.

What is the purpose of this mission?

• This mission aims to increase trade and investment for participating companies, and promote the new, united Auckland in the Korean and Taiwanese markets in terms of investment and business friendliness and capability.

• It aims to renew, stimulate and strengthen relationships with Auckland’s partner cities of Busan, Pohang and Taichung.

• South Korea and Taiwan are New Zealand’s 5th and 12th largest trading partners respectively, and represent key markets for Auckland from a business and investment attraction perspective.

• 2012 marks the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between New Zealand and South Korea, so the mission also serves to acknowledge this important milestone. A free trade agreement with South Korea and an economic cooperation agreement with Taiwan are currently under consideration.

• Auckland’s Economic Development Strategy identifies the need to transform Auckland into ‘an internationally competitive and prosperous economy for all Aucklanders through a step change in exports and internationalisation’. The trade mission will give participants an opportunity to connect with potential business partners, distributors and key government/industry contacts, as well as providing a catalyst for long-term business opportunities and stronger relationships with South Korea and Taiwan.

Korea and Taiwan economies

• Korea is New Zealand’s 5th largest bilateral trading partner, with two-way trade of NZ$3.2 billion (year ending January 2012).

• Negotiations for a free trade agreement (FTA) with Korea are currently underway.

• Korea is the 7th largest inbound visitor market with 53,560 Korean visitor arrivals to New Zealand (year ending April 2012).

• Korea is the second largest source of fee-paying students in Auckland (year ending December 2010).

• Approximately 25,000 Korean people live in the Auckland region and 15,308 New Zealand residents visited Korea (year ending April 2012).

• Taiwan is New Zealand’s 8th largest export market and 12th largest bilateral trading partner, with two-way trade of NZ$1.59 billion.

• Taiwan and New Zealand (through the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Wellington and the New Zealand Commerce and Industry Office in Taipei) recently completed feasibility studies into a bilateral economic cooperation agreement.

• New Zealand’s Venture Investment Fund (NZVIF) and Taiwan’s National Development Fund (NDF) have recently announced a partnership that opens new doors for potential investors.

• In 2011, China Airlines (Taiwan) recommenced flights from Taipei to Auckland via Brisbane three times per week. In addition, China Airlines recently announced an increase in its flights to Auckland (via Australia) from the current three flights per week to a daily service, starting from 28 October 2012. These developments contribute to the significant education and tourism arrivals – Taiwan is the 16th largest inbound market with 18,052 visitors (year ending April 2012).

• There is a large Taiwanese community in New Zealand and the New Zealand community in Taiwan is growing.

• In May, the two organisations that represent New Zealand and Taiwan’s respective universities signed an Arrangement of Academic Cooperation. It provides a foundation for establishing stronger links and identifying specific areas for student and academic exchange and research cooperation.

What is the itinerary and/or programme?

• Auckland Busan Pohang Seoul Taichung Taipei/New Taipei Auckland

• The programme includes tailored business sector meetings; site visits to key infrastructure projects, business zones or industry facilities; business briefings and forums; a high-level civic meeting with the mayor or deputy mayor; and an official reception/networking function.

• Participating delegates provide their objectives to Auckland Council, which then guides programme development. The delegates also arrange independent business meetings to complement the official mission programme.

• The Mayor’s official engagements while on the mission will be released immediately prior to departure.

Who is organising this mission?

• Auckland Council is organising this mission with support from Auckland Tourism Events and Economic Development (ATEED), New Zealand Trade and Enterprise (NZTE), the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT) and Auckland’s partner cities to ensure the trade mission is a success.

• A number of other organisations and individuals with particular knowledge and expertise in these markets are also being consulted to maximise the opportunities for participating Auckland businesses.

• Auckland Council appreciates the support of corporate partners and supporters who are providing sponsorship, hosting, logistical support and resources.

How were participants selected?

• A limited number of companies were invited to participate, based on their experience to date in these markets, their market-readiness and best practice advice from NZTE and MFAT.

• This selection criteria was used to ensure the success of the mission and not compromise the quality of the experience each participant has in the overall programme.

• The businesses were chosen from amongst Auckland Council’s priority sectors for economic development as identified in the Economic Development Strategy.

What is the cost of this mission?

• Business delegates are meeting their own costs including travel, transfers, accommodation, meals, insurance, incidental costs and any personal meetings/engagements (including business to business/personal gifts).

• The cost per person for Auckland Council representatives will be approximately $7945 for airfares and accommodation.

• The cost of this mission falls within existing Auckland Council Economic Development budgets. The mission was endorsed by the Regional Development and Operations Committee in June 2012, along with the Mayor and councillors’ participation.

How does this mission benefit the ratepayers of Auckland?

• The aim of this mission is to produce tangible benefits and outcomes for Auckland businesses, in turn bringing greater investment into the Auckland economy and creating more jobs. Stronger investment and job creation contributes to the Auckland economy, the living standards of its residents and its role as the economic powerhouse of New Zealand.

ENDS

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