On a visit to the UK between 18-22 September 2013 The Prime Minister of New Zealand The Rt Hon John Key after meeting with the British Foreign Secretary took time to speak to business leaders at Asia House in London.
As the UK increasingly looks to the emerging markets of the Asia Pacific it has become more important than ever for British investors to draw on the experiences of those who have been quick to embrace it.
The Rt Hon John Key spoke about New Zealand’s experiences with the emerging markets of the Asia Pacific. He also welcomed the increased attention that UK companies are paying to New Zealand as a doorway into Asia and highlighted the growing number of opportunities for British businesses to invest in the region.
The Prime Minister’s speech was followed by a panel discussion chaired by Asia House CEO Michael Lawrence. Drawing on personal experiences of working in New Zealand the panel talked about the strengths of the New Zealand economy and the sectors that provide the best opportunities for British-New Zealand collaboration and opportunities for ‘triangulation’ between UK-New Zealand and Asian partners. Here is a summary of our panellists’ views.
British High Commissioner to New Zealand Vicki Treadell CMG MVO highlighted that New Zealand is no longer ‘Britain’s farm’ and stated that Britain must refresh its relationship with New Zealand and set about building a new strategic engagement.
The UK must stop seeing New Zealand as another ‘destination for our products’ but rather a partner with whom it can work with in order to take full advantage of the opportunities presented to both countries by the emerging markets of the Asia Pacific.
Innovation is the key to success in the Asia-Pacific region according to Director and Practice Leader, IT and Communication systems, Volker Buscher of Arup, a global engineering, design, and consultancy firm. The company has found that as markets continue to mature year on year it is research and development that will drive interest in British and New Zealand products and services.
The growth of ‘megacities’ across the world has meant that the problems that globalisation and urbanisation present are not unique to one particular country or region and Britain and New Zealand are at the forefront developing the software that is going to enable them to meet these challenges.
Charles Scatchard, President International of Orion Health , a leading global provider of health information exchange, emphasised New Zealand’s role as a ‘world class’ healthcare and IT innovator. This will be a crucial sector for UK and New Zealand growth in the coming years. Scatchard emphasised the value for Orion Health in treating all countries as ‘emerging’ as this ensures a vital sense of discipline in the way the company approaches governments and other businesses.
The role that UK Trade and Investment can play in breaking into emerging markets is one that cannot be underestimated according to the film producer Iain Brown of Wonder Pictures. This was central to his message; highlighting the useful role UKTI had played in the setting up of the company helping to form a triangulation between Britain, New Zealand and China. Wonder Pictures is a new production company that has become the first to take advantage of the Memorandum of Cooperation in the Field of Film Production between the Shenzhen Municipal Government of China, and Auckland Council, New Zealand signed in June 2013.