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This year’s Perceptions of Asia report demonstrates the importance of business links between New Zealand and Asia, says BusinessNZ CEO Kirk Hope.

The latest survey of around 2,000 New Zealanders by the Asia New Zealand Foundation shows nearly half of all New Zealanders have travelled to or lived in Asia and almost one in five speaks an Asian language.

BusinessNZ chief executive Kirk Hope says that’s a good base for growing business between New Zealand and many Asian countries.

“The survey shows that around three quarters of New Zealanders consider Asia is important to New Zealand’s future, however nearly half of New Zealanders consider that not enough is being done to develop links between businesses in New Zealand and Asia.

“The work of the Asia New Zealand Foundation is important in helping us to recognise and bridge this gap.

“Continued work to broaden and deepen business relationships between New Zealand and Asian countries and ongoing development of trade agreements in the region are needed to ensure that New Zealand-Asian business prospers for the benefit of all,” says Hope, adding that Asia is where much of the world’s economic growth is taking place right now.

Asian countries are recording higher GDP growth figures than many other areas, he points out. “Most of New Zealand’s free trade agreements are with Asian countries, so it’s logical to seek to grow our markets there – where tariffs on New Zealand products are lower.”

He says most of our knowledge of, and familiarity with, Asia comes from personal connections (nearly half of all Kiwis have traveled to Asia, mostly on holiday).

“There is great scope for growth in business connections with Asia to build on those personal connections,” Hope says.

The Perceptions of Asia report can be found here:  New Zealanders’ perceptions of Asia & Asian Peoples



Glenn Baker

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


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