Global Insights – July 2021
Our Kea Regional Directors give on-the-ground insights into what is happening in their region and the opportunities this presents for New Zealand export businesses.
“The tech sector in the USA is on fire” with enormous growth in tech spending and an unprecedented level of capital investment this year – valuations are off the charts. This spans across many different areas of tech including – retail, F&B, industrial, AI, data analytics and food and ag – and Fortune Magazine has even declared that every company now needs to think of itself as a tech company in order to keep up with the momentum Covid-19 has created.
For New Zealand companies, a key opportunity in terms of investment, especially in areas where the Kiwi brand is strong, is that Venture Capitalists are far more willing and likely to invest in companies simply by meeting them online. This lack of a need for physical presence diminishes a speed bump companies experienced pre-COVID, creating immediate opportunities for kiwi entrepreneurs.
Peter Bryant, Kea World Class New Zealander, Board Chair & Managing Director, Clareo
UK & EUROPE
Investment and innovation in the UK tech sector continues to accelerate, with UK venture capital investment the third highest in the world with a record high of US$15 billion, ahead of India, Germany and France.
Capitalising on this exponential increase is the New Zealand tech sector which has grown significantly in the last 18 months in both presence, and sales. New Zealand tech exports are thriving in Education, helped by extended lockdowns and long periods of homeschooling, helping with everything from student wellbeing, to online exams to remote lab teaching.
Sara Fogarty, Kea UK/Europe Regional Director
South Korea has been named top of the world in innovation, with the country returning to first place on the Bloomberg innovation index, while the US has dropped out of the top 10. South Korea has now topped the list for seven of the nine years it has been published.
A large part of the nation’s success comes from the adoption of innovations in the real world. This is where the opportunities lie – Kiwi tech exporters can find integration and application opportunities in a Korean market that welcomes these innovations.
Lukas Beech, World Class New Zealander, South Korea
Something to watch in China over the coming months and years is the Digital Yuan, which is quickly establishing its place in the digital currency market, used at more than a 1.3million trial sites totalling an incredible $5.3+ billion in transactions. A question for SaaS companies to be thinking about is when will consumers in China expect to be able to make payments using Digital Yuan as well as through WeChat and Alipay?
There were 5.8 million new energy vehicles on Chinese streets by the end of May, which accounted for around 10% of new car sales in China. A vast number of gasoline cars that cannot meet China’s emissions standards will be phased out in 5 to 8 years, and around 200 million new cars will be bought to replace them. This creates huge opportunities for the new energy vehicle sector.
China is also preparing to introduce its new data security law, which will come into effect in the next few weeks. The change will mean companies are not allowed to provide any data stored in China to foreign judicial and law enforcement agencies without Chinese Government approval. Businesses in the tech sector will need to be across the changing regulations and understand what they mean for their customers. Watch this space for further updates.
Ciara Liu, Kea China Regional Director
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