While I wasn’t able to stay for the entire Go Global conference this year (held in Auckland on May 26th) I was there long enough to pick up plenty of insights into New Zealand’s increasingly dynamic export sector. There are a lot of positive things happening in the export space that often escapes mainstream media.
Trade minister Todd McLay delivered a convincing sell on the potential impact of the TPP agreement – and the statistics, I must admit, are hard to ignore. For a start there’s the fact that the agreement opens up access to 40 percent of the world’s economy. It will mean New Zealand gets treated the same, or better than, our competitors. As an example, New Zealand beef currently has a 40 percent tariff imposed by Japan. Under the TPP agreement this will reduce to nine percent. Australia is currently on 19 percent.
In four to five years’ time 90 percent of our traded goods will be covered by an FTA – so it’s not surprising that the government’s focus will remain on new and existing FTAs, as well as using the WTO platform to lobby overseas governments on their trade policies. Look at the success New Zealand had through the WTO over access to the Australian market for our apples.
The conference delivered some interesting insights on ‘taking collaboration to the world’ too, highlighted by the examples of F12 (the Family of Twelve winery collaboration) and Kotahi, the freight and logistics joint venture. Proof of the power of collective bargaining!
The New Zealand ambassadors to Mexico, Vietnam and Spain presented informative overviews of their respective territories, and it was interesting to learn more about the fastest growing market in Southeast Asia – namely Vietnam, the subject of our cover story.
In fact, as ambassador Haike Manning informed the conference gathering, with GDP growth running at 6.5 percent, Vietnam is second only to India as the world’s fastest growing economy. For New Zealand export firms it’s an opportunity just beyond our doorstep – made even closer by Air New Zealand’s direct flights to Ho Chi Minh City.
Enjoy this issue, and as always we’d appreciate your feedback.
Glenn H. Baker firstname.lastname@example.org