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Trade Commissioner To North Asia Region Appointed

New Senior Trade Commissioner To North Asia Region Appointed

Auckland, February 17 2003 -- Merv Stark has been appointed Trade New Zealand's Senior Trade Commissioner to North Asia.

As Senior Trade Commissioner Mr Stark will work to promote and facilitate trade opportunities throughout North Asia, overseeing Trade New Zealand's offices in Tokyo, Seoul, Taipei and Mainland China, all of which are managed by Trade Commissioners.

Mr Stark has hands-on experience in dealing with legislative and regulatory agencies at both national and provincial level in China, and he has recruited, trained and managed staff in most of the North Asian markets.

As a result, he has numerous personal and business contacts in North Asia, putting him in a good position to oversee trade in the region.

"I aim to be very pro-active in focusing Asian importers towards New Zealand, encouraging a can-do confidence level with New Zealand exporters who might currently think of Asia as being in the 'too hard' category, and ensure all North Asia Trade New Zealand offices meet their objectives," he says.

“New Zealand is well known and respected among all Asian nations and we are known as fair and good to deal with. I predict this century will be known as 'belonging' to Asia - we need to build on our reputation and position ourselves as the most favoured Western market with which to do business.

Mr Stark joins Trade New Zealand from US multi-national Nutritional company Herbalife, where he was regional operations vice president, with responsibility for operating companies in China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Thailand, Philippines and Indonesia.

Previous positions include operations (logistics) director Asia for US multi-national cosmetics company Mary Kay Cosmetics and international director for Betterway Thailand Ltd (division of Saha Patanapibul Co Ltd).

In the 18-year period prior to leaving New Zealand Mr Stark was managing director of Sports Distributors Ltd, Lifetime International NZ Ltd, Vision Wallcoverings Ltd and Avon Cosmetics Ltd.

Mr Stark replaces Elizabeth Gollan, who has taken up a new Trade New Zealand position in Auckland as Team Leader - Market Services. He expects to take up the position, based in Hong Kong in mid-February.

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