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Korean Economy Presents Opportunities For Nz

PRESS RELEASE

KOREAN ECONOMY PRESENTS OPPORTUNITIES FOR NZ

Minister for Trade Negotiations Hon Jim Sutton says that the Korean economy has rebounded from crisis faster than any other in Asia.

Mr Sutton is currently visiting Korea, to attend the Asia Pacific Economic Co-operation Seoul Forum.

The rebounding of the Korean economy opened up many new opportunities for New Zealand exporters, he said yesterday.

"Our bilateral trade with Korea recovered by more than a third last year, to total $1.5 billion, which means we are back in business after Korea's economic crisis." Korea is New Zealand's fifth-largest export market.

"New Zealand exports to Korea were worth just under $1 billion last year, driven by strong recoveries in Korea's manufacturing industries and consumer spending," Mr Sutton said.

"The outlook for New Zealand's important primary commodities such as timber and food is good, but it is apparent to me that there are also abundant opportunities in Korea for high-tech and value-added New Zealand exports."

Mr Sutton said that during a meeting with Korea's Minister of Information and Communications Ahn Byung-yup, he was impressed by plans the Korean Government was developing to transform Korea into a knowledge-based economy.

"Minister Ahn expects internet connections in Korea to double from 10 million to 20 million by the end of this year.

"Such an explosion in information technology development offers major opportunities for New Zealand's innovative software and telecommunications industries, and will change the way other exporters do business in this market."

Mr Sutton said there was also great potential in Korea for New Zealand's education and tourism services.

"Korea's large and affluent middle class places a high value on seeking quality education in English-speaking countries.

"Koreans are also travelling overseas again and New Zealand is well-placed to build on its good reputation to become a favourite destination for them."

ENDS

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