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Centres of Asia-Pacific Excellence debut

Centres of Asia-Pacific Excellence debut at forthcoming NZ exporters’ conference

Three new centres dedicated to supporting New Zealand businesses to enhance their engagement with key areas of the Asia-Pacific will be showcased at a forthcoming exporters’ conference.

The North Asia, Southeast Asia and Latin America Centres of Asia-Pacific Excellence were established in July. Funded by the government, the centres are hosted by a consortium of New Zealand’s four leading universities: the University of Auckland, University of Otago, University of Waikato, and Victoria University of Wellington.


The Centres will offer dynamic, evidence-based strategies and initiatives to meet the diverse needs of New Zealand businesses (particularly SMEs) and communities engaged with the Asia-Pacific. Activities will include roadshows and seminars, language pathways, internship and scholarship programmes, and commentary and analysis.

The North Asia CAPE is led by the University of Auckland, in partnership with the consortium of universities. Establishment Director Anne French says the CAPE is committed to creating future-focused, sustainable relationships across the key regions of Greater China, Japan and Korea. She says although significant work to build New Zealanders’ capabilities is already underway, research shows there is more to be done.


“Recent findings show fewer school leavers are prepared to engage with the peoples and cultures of Asia than five years ago. Language acquisition is one of the priorities for the North Asia CAPE. One initial focus is to identify learning and delivery pain points, and consider how to achieve meaningful outcomes for New Zealanders,” Anne French says.


Victoria University of Wellington leads the Southeast Asia CAPE, in partnership with the consortium universities. The CAPE focuses on the 10 member countries of ASEAN and Timor-Leste. Establishment Director Professor Rob Rabel says the CAPE’s focus is broad and deep.

“As well as strengthening reciprocal engagement with this region, the Southeast Asia CAPE will work with young people, exporters, and government agencies to improve understanding of these countries and their economies, languages, cultures, and business protocols,” says Professor Rabel.

The Latin America CAPE is also led by Victoria University of Wellington, in partnership with the consortium universities. Establishment Director Dr Matthew O’Meagher says the CAPE will focus on Latin America’s largest economies and most trade-friendly countries.

“Through a range of courses, events, reports, and mobility initiatives, the CAPE will raise the profile of Latin America in New Zealand and strengthen New Zealanders’ ability to engage with the region’s businesses and cultures. In so doing, we will showcase and optimise the potential for profitable business connections across the Asia-Pacific,” says Dr O’Meagher.

Directors and staff from the Centres of Asia-Pacific Excellence will be meeting with exporters at the Go Global exporters’ conference in Auckland on 21 September.
Connect with the Centres of Asia-Pacific Excellence: www.cape.org.nz

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