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UK Continues to Attract New Zealand Companies

Media Release

Wednesday 12th July 06

UK Continues to Attract New Zealand Companies

Figures from UK Trade & Investment’s 2005/06 Annual Review indicate a greater number of New Zealand companies are realising the importance of establishing a significant presence in the United Kingdom (UK) rather than relying on resellers and distributors.

In 2005 the number of New Zealand companies investing in the UK increased by 100 percent over the previous year to 16. These included:

- Whispertech

- Datasquirt

- Patriot Systems

Tim Holmes, UK Trade & Investment Director General, Australia and New Zealand believes New Zealand companies, like many others in the Asia Pacific region, are driven by the forces of globalisation to venture abroad in their search for new opportunities, markets and sources of growth, skills and technology.

“The UK represents a major source of rich opportunities and UK Trade & Investment is an easily accessible point of entry, facilitating introductions into relevant business networks, potential partners and access to financial and other resources.

“New Zealand and UK businesses can take advantage of natural synergies which relate back to our historical trading history, our common language, legal and financial systems as well as our common focus on the effect of the forces of globalisation on our economic future.

“New Zealand companies are utilising the UK’s expertise in high value activities such as research and development, science, cutting-edge technology and innovative design. In addition to these opportunities within the domestic UK market, many are using it as a base for growth into Europe or further afield.”

Exploring other reasons for the increased interest in the UK by NZ businesses, Mr Holmes also points to the close collaboration between UK Trade & Investment and New Zealand Trade and Enterprise and the establishment of the Beachhead Programme.

“This is an important initiative that has proven to be a very effective way to assist New Zealand companies to globalise. An initial Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) that focused on supporting NZ technology companies to gain access to the United Kingdom was recently expanded during Prime Minister Tony Blair's visit. This MoU now also includes companies in the biotechnology, creative industries and specialised manufacturing sectors.”

One New Zealand company that benefited from UK Trade & Investment and New Zealand Trade and Enterprise expertise was Patriot Systems. Its technical director David Parker encourages other New Zealand companies looking at establishing a base in the UK to seek assistance from both organisations.

“UK Trade & Investment works closely with New Zealand Trade and Enterprise to provide great support. We were pointed in the right direction from the start, we were introduced to some great contacts and given help with the practicalities of setting up bank accounts and securing visas. UK Trade & Investment can provide access to Regional and National Development Agencies as well as potential business partners. In our case the North West Development Agency were particularly helpful to us,” Mr Parker said.

More than 100 New Zealand businesses have offices in the UK. The value of these businesses makes New Zealand an important foreign investor in the UK.

Inward foreign investment projects into the UK from the Asia Pacific region increased 35 per cent during the past financial year. Four countries from the Asia Pacific region (Japan, India, Australia and China) were among the UK’s top 12 investment sources globally, creating more than 5,500 new jobs.

During the past financial year, 1,217 foreign companies from around the world chose to invest in the UK – a 14.2 per cent increase from the previous year. The investment rate is significantly higher than previous years, including 337 expansion projects, a 12.3 per cent increase from 2004/05.

“The UK’s success in attracting foreign investment highlights its status as the best place in Europe for setting up business and as a gateway to the European market of 500 million consumers.

“The City of London is the financial capital of the world, and English is the language of science, business and the internet. Acquisitions by overseas firms are a further vote of confidence in our business – a sign of strength in our economy,” said Alistair Darling, Secretary of State for Trade and Industry, and Margaret Beckett, Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs in a joint statement.


Notes to Editors:
1. UK Trade & Investment is the Government organisation that provides integrated support services for UK companies engaged in overseas trade and foreign businesses focused on the UK as an inward investment location. The principal aim of the Inward Investment Group is to attract, retain and add value to investment by communicating the benefits of the UK as the first choice in Europe for potential investors. UK Trade & Investment assists potential investors with all aspects of locating and expanding in the UK.

2. The ‘UK Inward Investment 2005/6’ report records all inward investment decisions notified to UK Trade & Investment for the financial year 2005/6 by the by the nine English regional development agencies and the national development agencies in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. It includes new investments, expansions, and acquisitions. Acquisitions were independently validated and verified by the UK development agencies.

3. Copies of the ‘UK Inward Investment 2005/6’ report are available in a downloadable format from the UK Trade & Investment website

USA 446 14,431
Japan 84 2,054
India 76 1,449
Canada 75 1,938
Germany 67 1,822
France 59 2,780
Australia 53 1,047
Ireland 44 1,104
Netherlands 30 680
Norway 28 212
Sweden 28 131
China 27 1,017
Rest of EU 77 2,641
Rest of world 126 2,771

NEW 508
MERGERS & ACQUISITIONS (including joint ventures) 375


Software 150
IT / Internet & E-Commerce 134
Pharmaceuticals & Biotechnology 98
Finance 75
Electronics 71
Management 70
Automotive 59
Others 563


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