Jim Anderton Excellence in exporting awards speech
Jim Anderton Excellence in exporting awards speech
I’m very supportive of business awards of all descriptions.
It’s important to celebrate success in business.
I’m reminded of the story of the first local retailer to win an award for marketing.
He was dismayed when a competitor opened next-door to him, displaying a large sign proclaiming "Best Deals".
Not long after he was horrified to find yet another competitor move in next-door.
This one put up another sign on the other side if his store saying, "Lowest Prices".
So the retailer put his mind to how he was going to avoid being driven out of business.
He sat down and completed a marketing strategy and came up with a solution based on his advantages.
The next day he proudly unveiled a new and huge sign over his front door, bigger than all those around him.
It read, "Main Entrance".
I was delighted - but mot surprised to find ten out of 23 finalists in this year’s New Zealand Trade and Enterprise Awards were from the South Island.
There are some fantastic businesses based in the South Island - as there are all around New Zealand.
This afternoon I went to see an expanded global IT centre operated by a billion dollar consultancy firm MWH.
They chose Christchurch as one of three centres globally because they were impressed with our IT innovation and capability.
They also chose Christchurch because of the opportunities for linkages to other Christchurch-based tech companies.
The expansion of that facility here in Christchurch is a great endorsement of this city and of New Zealand IT.
Earlier in the afternoon I went to the Canterbury Innovation Incubator.
It was fare welling a tech company that started out in the incubator with three people in 2001.
Today it is leaving the incubator because it has grown so well.
It’s been on the list of the fastest 50 growing companies twice in the last two years.
It has 22 staff and 140 contractors nationwide - and a business plan where it will soon start to earn $20 million a year in exports.
It is just one of a selection of incredibly talented and creative businesses succeeding here in Christchurch.
Tonight we’re here to recognise ten more outstanding businesses.
These awards are for exporting, and they recognise outstanding achievement in eight categories.
Exporting is critical to our prosperity.
If we want the living standards of other developed countries - then we have to pay for it by earning our way in the world.
We are a trading nation.
Our ability to sell things to the rest of the world is the key to our standard of living.
It’s important because it gives you the choice over the kind of country we are going to live in.
There are no third world living standards with first world health system or education.
We need internationally-minded businesses that can capture and exploit opportunities in the global marketplace.
We need companies able to create and sell high-value goods that the world doesn’t even know it needs yet.
We need to celebrate success in business, and we need to celebrate the success of New Zealand businesses internationally in particular.
Not because of the wealth it brings individuals, but because of the prosperity it brings us all.
We need to celebrate because of the talent and creativity it takes to succeed.
We need to celebrate it because of the opportunities successful international businesses create for New Zealand.
We need to celebrate it as a way of inspiring more entrepreneurs with good ideas to follow their dreams and the example of smart businesspeople.
This Government is committed to helping exporters succeed.
In this year’s budget the government announced a number of initiatives to improve international connections for our businesses.
We need to get plugged into the world.
As a nation we need to get better at finding and exploiting opportunities around the world.
We need to do better as a nation at plugging into global value chains.
Your success as exporters - as finalists in these awards - provides a guideline to where more of our businesses need to go.
We mustn’t be shy about success.
The New Zealand Trade and Enterprise Export Awards are a very public way of recognising and celebrating the success of our outstanding exporters.
What impresses me most about the line up of businesses I see here this evening is their cleverness. We have here:
Canterbury Scientific, Linden Leaves, University of Canterbury, iTouch Business Mobility, Pulse Data International, Solid Energy, Kuran, New Zealand Nature Co (based in Nelson), Saint Claire Estate Wines (based in Blenheim) and Felton Road (based in Central Otago) - we had to have one from outside Crusaders country.
The diversity of the industries and sectors represented tonight - from niche operations to State-owned enterprises - is impressive.
It shows innovation is being applied right across the business spectrum.
These companies have demonstrated an outstanding dedication to their industry, combined with a high level of innovation and ability to adapt.
My congratulations to you all for your success to date.
I wish you the very best of luck for your ongoing success in the Export Awards.
Thanks also to DHL, the major sponsor of the Export Awards, for their continued support of the event.
They have made the event this evening possible.
As major sponsor of the Awards for seven years, DHL has demonstrated its support for the top echelon of New Zealand’s entrepreneurial talent.
The awards programme attracts both local and international acclaim.
As you’ll know, the winners are being announced at a gala dinner in Auckland on Friday 23 July.
I look forward to seeing you there.
I wish you all the best for the awards.
And most of all I wish you all the very best for your continued success as exporters.