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Thailand gets a taste of New Zealand

Media Release
03 May 2006

Thailand gets a taste of New Zealand

The best of New Zealand innovation, culture and creativity will be on show at a four-day showcase in Bangkok’s premier shopping complex.

The New Zealand Showcase, which is part of a month-long festival, starts tomorrow and celebrates 50 years of diplomatic relations between the two countries. Thai shoppers will be introduced to New Zealand’s wine, culinary delights, creative design and rich cultural heritage. They will also be tempted to plan New Zealand holidays, pursue educational opportunities, and indulge in a range of exclusive New Zealand natural health and skin care products.

Around 30 New Zealand companies feature in the event, including Essenze, which produces leading edge furniture design and home interior items, and Wai Ora Spa, whose products are based on the geothermal muds and waters of Rotorua. The company has recently set up a spa in Thailand.

“Perceptions of New Zealand in Thailand include anything from a land with lots of sheep to lush vegetation and spectacular scenery,” says New Zealand Ambassador to Thailand Peter Rider. “Through the New Zealand Festival we hope to raise awareness of our can-do attitude and our willingness to do things differently.”

Organisers anticipate the festival, which includes a wine and food festival in a major Bangkok department store, and screenings of New Zealand films, will promote trade opportunities and capitalise on the Closer Economic Partnership agreement between New Zealand and Thailand which came into effect last year.

New Zealand Trade and Enterprise Trade Commissioner in Bangkok Jo McEvoy says Thailand has long been an important market for New Zealand. New Zealand exports to Thailand totaled NZ$345.7 million in the year to June 2005.

“It is a key Asian market for New Zealand and due to Thailand’s strategic position in the region can be a conduit for other opportunities. Traditionally, New Zealand’s main exports to Thailand have been commodities and Thais don’t always see New Zealand’s capabilities in business innovation and cutting-edge technologies.

“The New Zealand New Thinking branding for this Showcase and all events within the New Zealand Festival, is one of the ways we help Kiwi companies compete globally by building international recognition for creativity, innovation and technology,” she says.

The New Zealand Festival is presented by the New Zealand Embassy, New Zealand Trade and Enterprise, Tourism New Zealand and various sponsors.

The range of events includes:

-New Zealand Showcase
May 4-7 2006, Fashion Hall, the Emporium Shopping Centre

The Showcase will feature cultural performances, information booths on travel and education, a wide range of New Zealand food and beverage products, natural skin care products, dietary supplements and displays of other New Zealand-made products such as glassware and furniture.

-New Zealand Food and Wine Festival
May 9-21 2006, International Food Loft, Central Chidlom Department Store

The Food and Wine Festival will provide a New Zealand culinary experience including cooking demonstrations and a showcase of outstanding quality food and beverage products, which New Zealand is renowned for.

-New Zealand Film Festival
May 24-31 2006, SF Cinema, the Emporium Shopping Centre

New Zealand films are winning prestigious awards – from Sundance to the Oscars, and the Film Festival will feature some of the country’s most recent productions including The World’s Fastest Indian, River Queen and In My Father’s Den.

ENDS

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