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New Zealand to doorstep of Asian investors

New Singapore office takes New Zealand to doorstep of Asian investors

New Zealand’s efforts to attract high quality foreign investment will get a boost next week when Investment New Zealand opens a regional office in Singapore.

Locating in Singapore will put the investment promotion agency on the doorstep of potential investors from East Asia, says Investment New Zealand Chief Executive Don Christiansen.

“It will boost our ability to identify new investment opportunities and will allow us to have regular face-to-face contact with investors from a region with enormous investment and trade potential. It will also allow us to more effectively follow up leads that we already have.”

Nick Arathimos, who takes on the newly created role of Director of East Asia, will head the office. Mr Arathimos has extensive experience working in Asia and is a former New Zealand Trade Commissioner to Malaysia and Indonesia. Assisting him will be two locally hired investment specialists.

The Singapore-based team will co-locate with Trade New Zealand and also work closely with the other New Zealand agencies - the NZ High Commission, Tourism New Zealand and the NZ Immigration Service. It will target potential investors throughout Asia, but particularly those in Japan, China, Taiwan, South Korea, Hong Kong, Malaysia and Singapore.

Foreign direct investment (FDI) from Asia for the year ended March 2002 was NZ$6.84 billion. Singapore was the largest source of FDI accounting for 40.8 percent of the total, followed by Japan (15.8 percent) and China/Hong Kong (14.6 percent).

The office will seek to attract high quality foreign investment to New Zealand that has the potential to create new businesses and expand existing ones, Mr Arathimos says.

“Locating in Singapore gives us access to over 6,000 companies with regional offices in Singapore, many of which have decision making responsibility for New Zealand. This will help us link global, as well as Asian investors, with New Zealand companies seeking equity linked strategic alliances.

“High quality foreign investment can have the added benefits of access to export opportunities, technology transfer, international management skills, as well as giving access to international distribution channels, thus boosting our international competitiveness.”

Singapore will be the third overseas office opened by Investment New Zealand. It already has offices in New York and Los Angeles.

Investment New Zealand is the country’s national investment promotion agency. It is responsible for facilitating Foreign Direct Investment into the country, actively assisting overseas companies and investors to relocate businesses and/or establish greenfield operations in New Zealand. A team of business sector specialists within the agency also work closely with investment-ready New Zealand companies to secure international funding and expertise to help grow their commercial activities through export markets.

The Investment New Zealand Singapore office opens on Monday, March 17.

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