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New Toronto Office To Help New Zealand Exporters

Trade New Zealand has expanded its Canadian operation, opening a new office in Toronto to help exporters capture the opportunities offered by Ontario and Quebec, Canada’s two largest provinces.

Vancouver based Trade Commissioner Tony O’Brien says Toronto is the business and industrial capital of Canada, with a population of 5.8 million inhabitants who enjoy one of the highest standards of living in the world.

“Toronto has a huge manufacturing base, including a number of USA companies who have set up operations in Canada to take advantage of the lower production costs and the North American Free Trade Agreement.

“The city is also home to one of the region’s biggest film and video production industries, it’s a major centre for research and development and finance, and it’s the hub of Canada’s thriving high tech industries – software, electronics, telecommunications and biotechnology.

“These are industries where there is excellent potential for New Zealand exporters, who can use Toronto as the corridor into the rest of Canada.”

Mr O’Brien says Toronto promotes itself as the most central city in North America, which makes it an obvious distribution point into wider Canada and the USA.

“Some New Zealand companies haven’t considered Toronto because it appears so distant, but the reality is that it’s no further than the East Coast of the USA which is already an entry point for New Zealand exports to North America.”

Mr O’Brien says Trade New Zealand’s Market Manager for the new Toronto office is local businesswoman Denny Raincock.

Ms Raincock’s experience includes ten years as a client service manager and business research specialist in Canada’s largest research facility. She has a Master of Library Science, which gives her strong research and market trend analysis skills and an MBA with a marketing and e-business focus.

Ms Raincock will work with companies exporting to Toronto, and she will also take nationwide responsibility for developing New Zealand high tech exports to Canada, leveraging off her contacts in the industry.

“There are opportunities for New Zealand companies specialising in niche application software and niche electronic manufactures to form strategic alliances with Canadian high tech companies, many of whom specialise in hardware,” says Mr O’Brien.

“Canada is also going down the deregulation path and is actively seeking productivity improvements in areas like health, government services and information communication technologies. That offers opportunities for New Zealand companies that have systems and products that can help make those organisations more efficient.”

Mr O’Brien says he hopes the opening of the new Toronto office will highlight the potential that exists for New Zealand companies in Canada.
In the year ending December 2000, New Zealand sold about $407.6 million worth of products and services to Canada. Exports have traditionally been dominated by food and beverage products, in particular beef, lamb and dairy, and increasingly manufactured products.

While exports in 2000 recorded a healthy 36% increase on the previous year, Mr O’Brien says there is a lot of room for growth.

“More New Zealand companies need to focus on the export opportunities Canada offers in itself, rather than simply seeing it as a stepping stone into the USA.”

He says the positive Canadian perception of New Zealand gives our exporters a head-start in the market.

“Canadians are culturally similar to New Zealanders and they like New Zealanders. They recognise our shared history and Commonwealth status and they respect the quality of our products and services. They also see synergy between the two countries because of our respective ‘small cousin’ roles – Canada with the USA and New Zealand with Australia.”

Mr O’Brien says Canada is a more regulated society than New Zealand, but
Trade New Zealand can help exporters work through issues such as the need for bilingual labelling quickly and simply.

Trade New Zealand’s new Toronto office is open for business. New Zealand companies who want to find out more about opportunities for exports to Toronto or greater Canada should talk to their Account Manager or call the Trade New Zealand Hotline 0800 555 888 in the first instance.

For further information:

Tony O’Brien, Trade Commissioner, Vancouver, ph 001 604 684 7688

Jack Stephens, General Manager Market Services, Wellington, ph 04 496 6512

Distributed by Tracey Palmer, Trade New Zealand Communications,
ph 09 915 4223, 021 498 155

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