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Goff Impressed By NZ Enterprise In Chile

The success of an Auckland company in winning a multi-million dollar contract in Chile symbolises the opportunities available for business in Latin America, says Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Phil Goff.

Mr Goff has just ended a five-day visit to Chile where he met President Lagos and Government Ministers in a trip which focused on expanding political, economic and people-to-people contact between Chile and New Zealand.

"Glidepath, a small New Zealand baggage and cargo handling specialist company, is at present completing the installation of a computerised baggage handling system at Santiago's Domestic Airport.

"The first phase of the contract is worth $US10 million and was won in the face of international competition from Europe and North America.

"The company gained the contract with initial assistance from Trade NZ and is now bidding for other contracts in Latin America.

"There are significant airport upgrading plans in most countries in the region and the company's on-going success will make it a significant earner of foreign exchange for New Zealand as well as boosting local employment in New Zealand.

"Glidepath shows what New Zealand can achieve internationally when small businesses combine quality, cost competitiveness and flexibility in niche markets.

"The company is an example of how New Zealand using new technology can help fashion a new economy which makes us less reliant on primary commodity exports.

"New Zealand is currently discussing with the Chilean Government the prospects of a closer economic partnership with that country. If our early experience with Singapore is anything to go by, this will stimulate interest by New Zealand companies in doing business with Chile. Chile in turn could prove to be a gateway for entry into other and larger Latin American economies", Mr Goff said.


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