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Thailand/NZ exporter seminars to explain CEP

Thailand/New Zealand exporter seminars to explain CEP

12 May 2005 -- From July 1, 52% of New Zealand's exports to Thailand will be duty free under the newly signed Closer Economic Partnership (CEP) and New Zealand Trade and Enterprise (NZTE) has organised a series of seminars for exporters to explain the challenges and opportunities stemming from the CEP.

NZTE Trade Commissioner to Thailand, Jo McEvoy, says that the CEP marks the beginning of a new era in which New Zealand and Thailand will work together, and build on their long established relationship.

“The CEP is a building block for inter-regional trade with other ASEAN countries, so there is strategic as well as economic significance,” says Ms McEvoy.

Both Ms McEvoy and New Zealand’s Ambassador to Thailand, Peter Rider will be speaking at the seminars around the country on 16-20 May. They will be joined by successful New Zealand exporters who will share their experiences with audiences.

“Traditionally, New Zealand's main exports to Thailand have been commodities, while Thai exports to New Zealand have been motor vehicles, air conditioning and machinery. So New Zealanders are not aware of the sophistication of the Thai market and, conversely, Thais don't see New Zealand's capabilities in business innovation and cutting edge technology,” says Ms McEvoy.

“Thailand and its neighbours are a key export market for New Zealand companies. Incomes are rising, the middle class is growing, economic growth is steady and brand-conscious consumers are demanding higher quality products – so we hope our seminars will help New Zealand exporter realise the long-term potential of the Thai market,” she says.

While New Zealand’s food and beverages exports stand to gain the most, marine and automotive components as well as information and communications technology (ICT) sectors also offer long-term opportunities for New Zealand exporters.

“There is huge scope for cooperation in automotive components. Thailand is the Detroit of the East: most major Japanese and European car manufacturers have plants there. Thailand, like New Zealand, is a seafaring nation (duty on yacht imports was reduced to zero in 2004) and its burgeoning middle-class has a high uptake of wireless technology,” says Ms McEvoy.

New Zealand exports to Thailand have grown by app 2.6% in the past year from $342.9 million (Feb 04) to $351.9million (Feb 05).

Seminar details:
Auckland Monday 16 May Crowne Plaza Hotel 8am-12noon
Napier Tuesday 17 May War Memorial Centre 8am-12noon
Hamilton Wednesday 18 May Waikato Stadium 12noon-4pm
Wellington Thursday 19 May Hotel Grand Chancellor 8am-12noon
Christchurch Friday 20 May Crowne Plaza 8am-12noon


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