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The creative sector: NZ’s missed opportunity?

A report released today sheds light on the challenges and opportunities facing New Zealand’s $17.5 billion creative sector.

ExportNZ executive director Catherine Beard welcomes the release of the New Zealand Creative Exporters report. She says the sector, which employs 6.8% of the national workforce, has a proven track record but also risks becoming a "missed opportunity" for the country.

The success of the wider creative sector, which includes advertising, design, film, games, mixed reality, music, arts and publishing, has been greatly influenced by the success of our local film and screen industry, which fosters a spirit of collaboration.

One of the key points of difference for the New Zealand creative sector has been access to the right people, due to our small size and supportive environment.

However, the sector is hamstrung by several key factors.

"The creative sector needs to focus on international opportunities to spread the peaks and troughs of project-based work and diversify opportunities, but at the same time, it faces challenges in understanding and accessing those markets. Doing business in these regions can be quite challenging and often too difficult."

New Zealand’s geographic position and data security can also be major issues.

"Although the traditional market for creative exports is the US and the emerging market is China, we need to broaden our scope, moving into South America, South East Asia and India, which means increased travel costs to cement relationships."

Catherine Beard says international businesses see the value of partnering with a New Zealand creative organisation due to our global reputation and the ease of doing business here. However, there is a risk that often they want only our IP and not to collaborate.

Beard says creative exporters should collaborate and reach out for support as much as possible.

"This report published today is a fantastic resource for creative exporters, as it will help them understand their own sector and is full of helpful tips from leading creative exporters.

"Having people on the ground in overseas markets can be a huge benefit to overcoming distance and language barriers. Alternatively, SMEs can gain encouragement from others in the sector and the likes of New Zealand Trade and Enterprise, ExportNZ and creative peak body WeCreate."

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