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Japanese Government to host 50 Future Leaders

Japanese Government to host 50 Future New Zealand Business Leaders

Tuesday, 27 May 2008
Media release
For immediate use

Less than two weeks after the successful visit of the New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark and Trade Minister Phil Goff to Tokyo, the Government of Japan is reciprocating efforts to reinvigorate the Japan-New Zealand relationship by hosting the first contingent of future business leaders selected under the auspices of a Japanese Government-initiated exchange programme, Future Business Counterparts from New Zealand (FBCNZ).

Selected through a competitive application process, the 51 New Zealand participants of this programme will depart for Japan early next week. They were determined on the basis of future leadership in their respective business fields.

The participants of the FBCNZ will travel to Japan to take part in an eleven-day programme aimed at giving young New Zealand business leaders an insight into Japan’s business dynamism and the country’s unique societal and cultural backgrounds. There will also be opportunities for the participants to take part in cross-sector discussions with their Japanese counterparts.

The Consul-General of Japan Mr Takamichi Okabe said that this programme was intended to foster participants’ understanding and personal contact with Japan and also to deepen the Japan-New Zealand business relationship.

Mr Okabe believed that the Japanese economy still presented many untapped opportunities for New Zealand business.

“In 40 years time it is likely that three of the world’s four biggest economies will be in Asia. Although China’s dazzling recent economic performance has generated a considerable amount of attention from New Zealand businesspeople, the Japanese economy is far from anaemic.”

“Japan is the world’s second largest economy and since 2002 major Japanese firms have grown at a pace of 9.7% on a per capita basis, outstripping the performance of firms in emerging markets.”

“Japan is also home to the second largest population of millionaires in the world, approximately 1.8 million Japanese people own financial assets of more than $US1 million.”

"The importance of ongoing dialogue, exchange and co-operation between young hopefuls cannot be overstated. In order for our relationship to flourish in the future, we must sow the seeds of understanding today."

The participants will depart for Japan on Wednesday June 4. A pre-departure reception will be hosted by the Consulate-General of in Auckland on Tuesday June 3.


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