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Insights & Connectivity With Malaysia

New Zealand Asian Leaders (NZAL) welcomed a prominent Malaysian business delegation to Auckland, hosted by Southeast Asia Centre of Asia-Pacific Excellence (SEA CAPE) with meetings also scheduled in Hawkes Bay and Wellington this week.

Professor Siah Hwee Ang, Director of SEA CAPE welcomed NZAL members and highlighted the successes of the guest speakers from Malaysia; Andrew Bayly, Chemmy Tan, Dato Michael CH Wong JP and Esther Yap that will provide insights into their business sectors.

Mitchell Pham ONZM was the moderator and boasted the population of nearly 34 million makes Malaysia one of South East Asia’s fastest growing nations with a skilled English-speaking workforce, robust infrastructure, and free trade agreements with Aotearoa New Zealand.

The evening reception was useful for members to hear firsthand about business possibilities in the Malaysian market due to its strategic location and resources within the ASEAN region presenting numerous opportunities across various sectors. The delegation highlighted various opportunities in the Malaysian market for two-way trade of products and services.

Andrew Bayly, Founder of Emec Technology & Emec Scientific, spoke of his journey as an expat Kiwi emphasising, “the importance of due diligence and establishing trust with business partners.” Afterwards, he mentioned to NZAL Co-Chairs Lisa LI and Sameer Handa MNZM that the ASEAN Business Alliance will bring together local NZ chambers / associations in Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, Singapore, New Zealand, Myanmar, Philippines, and Indonesia to converge in Kuala Lumpur this November as an ideal time for an NZAL trade mission.

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There were enthusiastic discussions to explore potential opportunities for collaboration and growth between businesses across both sides. Esther Yap, Founder & CEO of Stellar SparX International spoke with pride, first arriving on our shores as an overseas student to attend Victoria University of Wellington and now returning to expand her business. She stressed the value of a NZ education with many Malaysians completed studies here that have gone on to high powered government positions and businesses.

They shared the importance of tailoring strategies to local demands and the potential for collaboration between New Zealand and Malaysia in various sectors. It's essential not to generalise the Asian market; each country is unique, so research is crucial when planning sales and marketing strategies. Effective communication, trust-building, and relationship-building are essential components for successful business operations.

There was optimism among all those in attendance about future prospects of their trade relationship, aiming to explore new avenues for collaboration. -End-

Editor’s Notes:

· New Zealand’s relationship with Malaysia is one of the oldest in South East Asia with sixty-six years of diplomatic relations based on strong ties in trade, education, security, and tourism.

· Malaysia is one of New Zealand’s fastest growing export markets and eleventh largest trading partner.

· The 2022 total trade value was $4.04 billion for New Zealand - Malaysia

· Link to Malaysian delegation’s bios

· New Zealand Asian Leaders (NZAL) was founded in 2013 by Mai Chen as a professional organisation of experienced executives to accelerate Asian Leaders’ contribution to Aotearoa New Zealand. NZAL will evolve the next decade with new Co-Chairs Sameer Handa MNZM and Lisa Li as a platform to connect, inspire and grow Asian leaders across New Zealand. Members promote diversity in businesses and facilitate access to Asian leadership and their extensive offshore networks. They represent diverse industries covering primary sectors of trade and finance, tourism, logistics, education with legal and accounting professionals for governance issues.

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