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News Worthy - 21 April 2006

News Worthy

21 April 2006 - No. 70

This email newsletter is written from Korea as I lead a business delegation in a joint exchange with Korean counterparts in the Korean Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

The New Zealand delegation includes representation from the banking, IT, film, education, food, tourism and science sectors.

Korea is a world leader in numerous areas including technology. In semi-conductors, broadband penetration and mobile telephones most countries come no where close.

But it is also a country that embraces it culture and its past and does not wish to have this diluted by the increasingly pervasive globalisation that is hard to avoid.

Many lambaste the "hermit nation" for its isolating characteristics and ingrained culture, yet in an increasingly homogenous global society a level of cultural solidarity should be celebrated.

One of the tasks of the delegation is to advance New Zealand Foreign Ministry initiatives for a closer economic partnership between the two countries. New Zealand's relationship with Korea stretches back to our support and participation in the Korean War. Our contribution of over 6,000 troops was the second highest per capita.

Since the New Zealand Embassy was opened in Seoul in 1972 two way trade has increased from NZ $2 million to over NZ $2 billion in 2005.

The region is awash with Free Trade Agreements. Korea for example has agreements with Chile, Singapore and four European countries. Discussions are underway with Mexico, United States, Canada, India and the ASEAN countries. A private study is underway with China - talks with Japan are stalled.

While FTAs have benefits for negotiating parties, they also have the potential to undermine valuable trading relationships with countries outside of the agreement by diverting trade.

That is why a Korea-New Zealand FTA is needed to consolidate the gains that have been made in the economic relationship over the past 50-60 years.

The national dish of Korea is Kimchi; the national drink and the highest selling spirit in the world is soju.

The ubiquitous Kimchi features in every meal. Anyone who would like a copy of the recipe can email

NZ National Party Epsom Dinner invite - Guest Speaker John Austin
Topic: Auckland - An International City Or Just Another "Suburb" with Manukau or North Shore?
Date: Friday 5 May 2006
Time: 5.30 pm (cash bar open) followed by address and dinner
Venue: Remuera Bowling Club -6 Market Rd Remuera
Cost: $30 in advance or $35 at the door
Tickets: Phone Elizabeth (09) 623 2598 or Email:
RSVP by: Monday 29 April 2006

John is a Fellow of the NZ Institute of Architects, a founding and long time director of Jasmax Architects, New Zealand's largest architectural firm.

His vision to return Auckland to one city, not seven is an essential ingredient of making Auckland a city of readily acknowledged international quality and in the process deliver the benefits in both economic and social terms which are clearly visible across the Tasman.

Political Quote of the Week
"If you are going to tell people the truth, you had better make them laugh or they will kill you." -- Oscar Wilde

Richard Worth

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