Len Brown is leading a trade mission to South Korea and Taiwan next week which will open doors for Auckland businesses to two key Asia-Pacific economies.
The Mayor will lead representatives of 17 Auckland businesses and organisations to five cities from October 7 - 19.
The mission coincides with the 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations between New Zealand and Korea.
"These are dynamic economies in what many commentators identify as the key region in the global economy now and in the coming years. It is important Auckland has connections and visibility in these markets," says Len Brown.
"Our recently launched Economic Development Strategy [EDS] identifies the need for Auckland to become a thriving Asia-Pacific innovation-driven business hub, working in partnership with other council organisations, central government, and our private sector partners to achieve this. Trade missions like this are integral to that goal," says Len Brown.
Businesses participating are from amongst EDS priority sectors - infrastructure, ICT, investment, export education, and screen. They are from sectors that together represent 36 per cent of the Auckland economy.
"The aim of this mission is to provide tangible, productive opportunities for Auckland businesses in the Korean and Taiwanese markets, and to strengthen our strategic ties with our partner cities and the economic and political centres of Seoul and Taipei."
Councillor Arthur Anae will support the Mayor and delegation in Korea and Councillor George Wood in Taiwan. Mayors and local government officials are highly respected in Asia, and being part of a mayoral-led delegation will give Auckland businesses access they may not have independently.
The visits to Busan and Taichung also reciprocate visits made by delegations from the two cities to the Sea Edge Symposium held in Auckland in March 2012.
Delegates will participate in a range of tailored business sector meetings, site visits, business briefings and forums, official receptions and networking functions. The Mayor will also meet key city officials.
Employers and Manufacturers Association Chief Executive Kim Campbell says missions like this are a good way for Auckland businesses to connect with international markets.
"Doors open to places most people don’t know exist when you travel with the Mayor of a major city like Auckland. If we are going to meet our growth and prosperity aspirations for Auckland we are going to have to find new sources of revenue and investment, and top-level trade missions are a superb way to make commercial and political connections. I encourage Auckland business to support Mayor Len Brown’s mission to Asia."
The mission is organised by Auckland Council and supported by Auckland Tourism Events and Economic Development (ATEED), the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT), New Zealand Trade and Enterprise (NZTE), the Consulate of the Republic of Korea in Auckland, the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Wellington and the New Zealand Commerce and Industry Office in Taipei, and Auckland’s partner cities of Busan, Pohang and Taichung.
Delegates will travel to Busan, Pohang, Seoul, Taichung and Taipei from October 7 - 19.
New Zealand and Korea:
Korea is New Zealand’s 5th largest bilateral trading partner, with two-way trade of NZ$3.14 billion (year ending June 2012).
Negotiations for a free trade agreement (FTA) with Korea are currently underway.
Korea is the 7th largest inbound visitor market with 52,464 Korean visitor arrivals to New Zealand (year ending August 2012).
Korea is the second largest source of fee-paying students in Auckland (year ending December 2010).
Approximately 25,000 Korean people live in the Auckland region and 15,308 New Zealand residents visited Korea (year ending April 2012).
New Zealand and Taiwan:
Taiwan is New Zealand’s 12th largest export market with two-way trade of NZ$1.63 billion (year ending June 2012).
Taiwan and New Zealand (through the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Wellington and the New Zealand Commerce and Industry Office in Taipei) recently commenced negotiations for a bilateral economic cooperation agreement.
New Zealand’s Venture Investment Fund (NZVIF) and Taiwan’s National Development Fund (NDF) have recently announced a partnership that opens new doors for potential investors.
In 2011, China Airlines (Taiwan) recommenced flights from Taipei to Auckland via Brisbane three times per week. In addition, China Airlines recently announced an increase in its flights to Auckland (via Australia) from the current three flights per week to a daily service, starting from 28 October 2012. These developments contribute to the significant education and tourism arrivals - Taiwan is the 17th largest inbound market with 18,464 visitors (year ending August 2012).
There is a large Taiwanese community in New Zealand and the New Zealand community in Taiwan is growing.
In May, the two organisations that represent New Zealand and Taiwan’s respective universities signed an Arrangement of Academic Cooperation. It provides a foundation for establishing stronger links and identifying specific areas for student and academic exchange and research cooperation.
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