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New Zealand centre to open in Hong Kong

27 January 2005

New Zealand centre to open in Hong Kong

New Zealand Trade and Enterprise is to open the first ever "New Zealand Centre" in Hong Kong later this year, as part of its wider moves to make the most of trade opportunities in China, Hong Kong and the wider North Asia region for exporters, Trade Negotiations Minister Jim Sutton said today.

NZTE will work with private sector companies and other organisations to open a 5000 sq m combined retail, business and education showcase centre in Hong Kong's Causeway Bay, in the heart of Hong Kong's busiest thoroughfare.

Mr Sutton said that New Zealand's future lay in North Asia.

"Right now, with New Zealand's pending trade agreement with China, the opportunities in China and Hong Kong are immense. We can't miss the boat. This is the first initiative in the region that NZTE has planed."

The agency's Chief Executive Tim Gibson said that NZTE had had much success in the past by partnering with companies to help them break into new markets under our Beachhead programme.

"This venture takes that model one step further. Our plan is to launch a high profile centre uniquely tailored for the market ? one that will appeal not only to Hong Kong business partners and consumers, but also the 1.25 million Chinese tourists that travel through Hong Kong each month.

"As well as providing an access point to China, Hong Kong is also an important economy in its own right, with an English-speaking business environment that makes it easy to do business. It's an ideal market to pilot such a model in and if successful could lead to other similar ventures in other emerging Asian markets in the future."

Mr Gibson said NZTE thoroughly researched the market dynamics and consulted widely before deciding on the final business model of the centre. Factors considered included the difficulties New Zealand companies face entering the market, such as low brand awareness and high supermarket listing fees. This business model will lower the entry barrier for participants, while allowing them to attract consumers and potential trade partners through collective marketing under the New Zealand brand.

Further details of the New Zealand Centre, including NZTE's foundation partners, will be announced in March. NZTE is currently seeking expressions of interest from commercial operators with experience in Hong Kong who are interested in being involved in the management of the centre.

New Zealand exporters wishing to register their interest can contact NZTE's Business Enterprise Team on 0800 555 888.

ENDS

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