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Working together in-market, splitting costs and sharing facilities could be a natural outcome for Kiwi exporters looking to take advantage of the government’s newly-launched ASEAN strategy.

“New Zealand’s ASEAN partnership: One pathway to ten nations” sets out a combined government/private sector plan to boost our country’s relationship with the ASEAN countries.

Chuan Seng Lee, emeritus chairman of Beca Asia, tells Exporter the strategy will get more Kiwi business owners and managers thinking about opportunities in the ASEAN region. He says exporters will also start to see how keen government agencies are to help them do business in the region and become more aware of what other New Zealand companies are already doing there. “Hunting in a pack is always much more effective than going out alone.”

The new NZ Inc strategy aims to strengthen political, trade, investment, educational, defence, and people-to-people ties with a region expecting five to six percent annual growth to 2017. Companies that haven’t so far explored opportunities in the ASEAN region should be able to benefit from a renewed concentration of resources in the area.

Among other initiatives, David Taylor’s role as Jakarta-based ambassador to both Indonesia and ASEAN will be split into two separate roles. NZTE, Tourism NZ and Education NZ will get more representation in Jakarta, and we’ll have a diplomatic post in Myanmar.

Lee, the long-standing leader of NZTE’s Southeast Asia Beachheads Advisory Board, says the strategy will also make a difference to companies such as Beca, which is well established in the region and knows the market well. “There will be new players from New Zealand coming up to the region,” he says. “One of the key lessons we’ve learnt over the years is that you’re never too big or too strong that you don’t need other people to help you.”

The ten ASEAN nations are home to around 620 million people and one of the world’s most dynamic centres of economic growth.

Prime Minister John Key launched the strategy in Auckland recently. Export NZ and the ASEAN NZ Combined Business Council have teamed up with Mfat and other government agencies in a series of roadshows round the country about what the new approach can mean for individual businesses.

NZ Inc strategies are already in place for India, China, Australia and the six countries comprising the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC).

For more information on the NZ Inc ASEAN strategy go to:

By Ruth Le Pla. [email protected]

Glenn Baker

Glenn is a professional writer/editor with 50-plus years’ experience across radio, television and magazine publishing.


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