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Opportunities In Asia - NZTE Geared To Help

Opportunities In Asia - NZTE Geared To Help

2 December 2004 - New Zealand Trade and Enterprise was positioning itself to assist exporters to seize new opportunities in the Asian region, the organisation’s chief executive Tim Gibson said today.

He said the prospect of a free trade agreement with China, the negotiation of a Closer Economic Partnership with Thailand and plans for an ASEAN-Australia-New Zealand free trade arrangement, all meant that export opportunities in Asia were expanding.

“But they certainly won’t present themselves on a silver platter. The whole world is beating a path to emergent Asia’s door,” Mr Gibson said. “New Zealand exporters – and especially those pushing into the region for the first time - will need to do their homework, then plan and execute their marketing strategies with meticulous care.”

He said NZTE was boosting its resources across the region in anticipation of increased export activity.

“New Zealand Trade and Enterprise has the knowledge, the infrastructure on the ground and the crucially important contacts with both the business and government sectors right across the Asia region.”

Mr Gibson said there was strong evidence to support a “pan-Asia” strategy.

“For instance in the case, of China companies with existing trading links with other countries in Asia tend to be viewed favourably, demonstrating as it does a commitment to the region, quite apart from providing the advantages of scale.

“Hong Kong, as an example, is an economy now very much in recovery mode and as such offers an excellent bridge into Mainland China,” Mr Gibson said.

But he advised those looking East to tread warily, particular in the case of the vast Chinese market.

“There can be pitfalls for the unwary and in the past more than one New Zealand company has got it wrong and paid the price.”

“Nevertheless the fact remains that what we have in prospect is improved access to a market of 1.5 billion – but more significant to a growth middle class of over 230 million.

“What is now more widely ajar, is the door to economic prosperity for this country in the 21st century. It is imperative that New Zealand seizes these opportunities and runs with them,” Mr Gibson said.

ENDS

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