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Akl companies connect with visiting LA & Guangzhou business

More than 100 international delegates and 260 Auckland companies have attended Tripartite 2019 this week, bringing business, investment and civic leaders together to exchange ideas and opportunities.

The event took place on Monday and Tuesday, scheduled to coincide with Techweek19, to put the international spotlight on Auckland’s dynamic tech sector.

Tripartite 2019 is part of the five-year-old Tripartite Economic Alliance, between Auckland and its long-term partner cities Los Angeles and Guangzhou, forged to boost economic, trade and investment opportunities between the three cities and deepen Auckland’s connections with two of the economic powerhouses in the Asia-Pacific region.

The two-day programme included an innovation showcase and panel discussions, networking events, site visits to local post-production companies, and an event to highlight the region’s Māori businesses to the international guests.

There was also a significant trilateral agreement signed between the Auckland, Los Angeles and Guangzhou city representatives, on Pacific Rim emergency preparedness, that will see the three cities share best practice on how cities can cope during times of emergency and disaster recovery.

Memoranda of understanding signed at Tripartite 2019 include agreements between Chinese and local companies to pursue mutual opportunities ranging from the R&D and promotion of infant formula and nutrition powders; beverage distribution; an e-commerce cross-border logistics project; technology transfer, innovation and high-level staff training; and food labelling to ensure traceability from source to consumer.

Auckland Mayor Phil Goff says the Tripartite 2019 event continues to strengthen Auckland’s city and business relationships with Los Angeles and Guangzhou.

“The Tripartite Economic Alliance is an example to the world of how cities can work together to strengthen their commercial, trade and people-to-people relationships and create enduring economic benefits that last long after the delegates have gone home.

“The Tripartite arrangements have already facilitated deals worth millions of dollars in investment and income to Auckland companies,” says Mayor Phil Goff.

“For Auckland, this alliance represents a strong entry point into two of the world’s economic powerhouse cities: Los Angeles, with its metropolitan area representing the 15th largest economy in the world, and Guangzhou – one of the most important commercial hubs in China. Both are gateway cities to their countries."

Los Angeles Deputy Mayor Jeff Gorell says there is nothing else like the Tripartite Economic Alliance in the world, three cities working together to improve quality of life, investment and trade opportunities, tourism and to share culture.

“The power of it is getting our business delegates to forge deals so we can create investment among our three cities, because that will improve the economy of the Pacific and when the Pacific does well, the entire world benefits.”

Pam Ford is General Manager Economic Development for Auckland Tourism, Event and Economic Development (ATEED), which delivers the Tripartite Economic Alliance business programme on behalf of the Auckland Council family.

“The feedback from our international guests has highlighted how special Tripartite 2019 has been for them, to experience and connect the Māori culture and businesses of Tāmaki Makaurau / Auckland. It’s unique amongst business conferences, having the civic and cultural elements to it as well.

“The beauty of this being the fifth year of this trilateral alliance is that we are now whanau, we have built trusted relationships, which help accelerate deals between our cities’ businesses,” says Pam Ford.

Ron Hicks, serial entrepreneur, inventor of disruptive technologies, founder and CEO of US-based company Herd X, took part in the Tripartite 2019 healthtech investment showcase, listening to and feeding back to six Auckland companies on their business ideas.

“There is this collaboration that comes from the way the Tripartite is positioned. With other conferences, it is often a showcase, whereas Tripartite is a collaborative relationship, you come here to not only share but also to listen and learn,” says Ron Hicks.

LIU Baochun, Director General, Guangzhou Foreign Affairs Office, says each city has its own interests but all hope to mutually benefit from each other.

“Guangzhou is focusing on high tech, startups and biotech – Guangzhou delegates have learned a lot about what Auckland offers in these areas. Outcomes stem from the three sister cities’ unified approach – people-to-people links are a great starting point. Tripartite has been a great platform for facilitating connections for the private business sector in Guangzhou,” says Mr LIU.

Tripartite 2019 is delivered by ATEED and Auckland Council in partnership with Bank of New Zealand and Precinct Properties, with the support of entities including New Zealand government agencies, the Consulates-General of the US and China, Asia New Zealand, Auckland’s Whāriki Māori Business Network, and Auckland screen companies.

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