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New Zealand will benefit from business networking initiative

New Zealand will benefit from business networking initiative


As social media become increasing important to the New Zealand economy (http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/BU1410/S00620/social-media-key-to-new-growth-for-nz-exporters.htm) a new online business networking site is being launched this week to help business executives substantially increase their face-to-face business contacts.

Business Travel Networking (butN) has been extensively beta tested in Australia during the last few weeks. It is now going to be rolled out during coming weeks in the UK and New Zealand.

butN was originally going to be an exclusive service for major multinationals that are members of the Federation of International Employers (http://www.fedee.com). But towards the later stages of development it was decided to open up its use to all professionals and executives. Although geared to business people on the move it is also now recognized that it will be useful to everyone as a networking tool. It is believed that it will be of particular value in New Zealand because its geographical isolation puts a premium on business travelers arriving from other countries.

“Why let those foreigners on business trips lead lonely evenings in Auckland, Wellington or Christchurch hotels when they could be forging links with local companies”, says butN founder Robin Chater. “Key players in the growth of butN will be leading hotel groups that will be able to use the service to organize events and encourage those staying on business to meet up and talk business. “

Hotels, airlines, car hire companies and travel agencies in New Zealand can have their own-badged versions of butN and this will help them both to act as true hosts to their business guests and also encourage them to return.

“ The difference between butN networked hotels and other hotels will be that their bars and restaurants will be full each evening” claims Chater. “There is massive scope for economic growth in New Zealand and it could become a business hub for the pacific if it could only make the most of opportunities that it already has”.

The Federation of International Employers is currently establishing a new business centre in Hong Kong and has plans to set up a further office in New Zealand next year. This will additionally provide a regional office for butN’s own staff.

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