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Tokyo beachhead for kiwi companies opens

19 April 2006

Tokyo beachhead for kiwi companies opens

Associate Minister for Trade Negotiations Jim Sutton today officially opened the New Zealand Business Centre (NZBC) in Tokyo, which will operate as a beachhead into the region for kiwi exporters.

Conveniently located within the central business district of Tokyo, the New Zealand Business Centre has been established by New Zealand Trade and Enterprise (NZTE) as part of the government's international Beachheads Programme.

"This centre reinforces the government’s commitment to working in and with Japan. Japan is our third largest trading partner and while our countries enjoy a close relationship, the New Zealand government believes there is much we can do to deepen our economic partnership," Mr Sutton said.

"The New Zealand Business Centre recognises our willingness to engage in mutually beneficial relationships. There are many opportunities for New Zealand businesses in Japan, and we must aim to target the sectors where we have value.

"Adopting a New Zealand Inc approach as personified by the Beachhead Programme is an important part of our strategy and will be vital to our success in the international environment."

Designed with a distinctive New Zealand theme, the centre includes individual office space for six New Zealand companies, NZTE's Tokyo satellite office, a 'Hot Desk' facility, reception, meeting rooms, service area, and communication space.

The 'Hot Desk' facility is available for use by New Zealand companies visiting Japan on business. It is intended for companies already developing business in the Japanese market or exploring new opportunities, and will serve as a base while visiting Japan for marketing, sales and technical support.

The centre is also available for companies promoting New Zealand products and services within the Japanese market to hold small functions and presentations.

Five New Zealand companies have signed up to this latest business beachhead, which began operating in January. The five companies – Cedenco Foods, Maximum Availability, Meat & Wool New Zealand, Sunrise Coast New Zealand Limited and New Zealand Berryfruit Group – say their presence in the beachhead will make it easier for them to do business in the important Japanese economy.

Economic Development Minister Trevor Mallard welcomed the opening of the latest beachhead.

"Opening up markets for New Zealand is a top government priority and the Beachheads Programme is ideally placed to support that objective," Trevor Mallard said.

"There are already beachheads in place in the United Kingdom, the United States, Singapore, Dubai and Tokyo and more are being considered to meet the increasing demand.

"The interest from New Zealand companies in expanding offshore shows no sign of waning. More than 70 companies are now signed up to the Beachheads Programme, of which over half have joined in the past 12 months alone.

"The Labour-led government is committed to working with business to further transform New Zealand into a globally competitive and innovative economy.

"Helping exporters to understand their markets and the competition, and giving them the necessary support to establish and expand in offshore markets is an important part of this work.

"The Beachheads Programme is a prime example of a government scheme which provides valuable support in-market, through a private-public partnership, to businesses looking to expand offshore."

Notes for Editors

The Beachheads Programme helps New Zealand companies maximise international opportunities, drive sales and deliver support to channel partners and customers. NZTE Beachhead Programmes operate in Dubai, Singapore, the United Kingdom, and the United States and now in Tokyo and more are planned to meet increasing demand.

For further information on the Beachheads Programme visit www.nzte.govt.nz/beachheads. Images of the New Zealand Business Centre in Tokyo are available from Jennifer Andrewes, Communications Consultant, NZTE,

Company profiles

Cedenco Foods
Cedenco Foods is a diversified food ingredient processing and manufacturing group of companies with manufacturing facilities in Gisborne and Hastings in New Zealand and in Echuca, Northern Victoria, Australia.

New to Cedenco Foods group are the recent acquisitions of both Sunrise Coast and Circle Pacific. The Cedenco Foods Group itself is a subsidiary of a larger group of companies owned by SK Foods a leading USA food processor. www.cedenco.com

NZ Berryfruit Group Ltd (NZBG)
Horticulture Marketing Limited (HML) was established in 1994 and is New Zealand’s leading exporter of frozen processed buttercup squash products. HML has a network of customers throughout Japan and for the past two years has employed a full-time staff member in Japan. Another specialist staff member has been employed to develop new identified products, promote and add value to existing products.

HML has recently formed a Joint Venture called the NZ Berryfruit Group Ltd (NZBG) that has an exclusive marketing agreement with the New Zealand Blackcurrant Co-operative to sell blackcurrants into Japan. With their JV partner Just The Berries Ltd they are successfully developing sales into the Nutraceutical and Functional Foods market in Japan. HML and NZBG are liaising with other New Zealand suppliers about representing their products in the Japan market.

While HML are experienced exporters to Japan they are strong advocates of this project and believe the benefits of sharing office space with other New Zealand companies will be significant and will assist in addressing the market issues and changing distribution requirements.

Sunrise Coast New Zealand Limited
Sunrise Coast New Zealand Limited is an international fruit and produce marketing company with its headquarters in Gisborne. The company was established in 1980 by large fruit and vegetable farmers and markets fresh New Zealand produce from all over New Zealand representing many growers and packers and providing a comprehensive service from the seed to final consumer.

The company collects and distributes produce through sophisticated and experienced post-harvest facilities owned by them or by long standing business partners. The focus of these operations is on efficiency, price competitiveness, quality management and food safety.

Sunrise Coast has a focus on North Asia and are currently exporting to Japan, China and Korea. Through their experience in Asia they understand the costs of doing business in Japan and see a physical presence a necessary step in the company’s growth.

www.sunrisecoast.co.nz

Meat and Wool New Zealand A key role of Meat and Wool New Zealand is to promote New Zealand beef, veal, lamb, mutton and associated products in overseas markets. Meat and Wool New Zealand’s representatives in overseas markets work closely with New Zealand meat exporters, their importers and distributors and end users in the retail, food service, and processing sectors. They aim to increase the market share of New Zealand meat products and to enhance understanding of the quality, safety, healthiness, nutritional benefits and other features of New Zealand beef, lamb and other meat products. Japan is a key market for Meat and Wool New Zealand.

Maximum Availability is a New Zealand company that is responsible for the creation of the successful *noMAX Suite of Products, the world leader in cost-effective high availability and disaster recovery software solution for the IBM iSeries business system. They have successfully completed hundreds of *noMAX installations in over 35 countries, and delivers to a global client base from a number of international locations; New Zealand, the United States, the United Kingdom and now Japan, and via a network of strategic alliances and partnerships around the world.

In the Asia Pacific region they have customers in New Zealand, Australia, Fiji, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines, the Maldives, Taiwan and Japan. Their software – *noMAX – has just been enabled in Japanese and they see a huge market opportunity in that market in 2006 and beyond. Japan is by far the second largest market for the IBM iSeries after the USA, and in spite of the prevalence of earthquakes less than two percent of those 20,000 user companies have a disaster recovery solution today.

ENDS

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