Global Insights – August 2022
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.
This month the 8th New Zealand China Business Summit was held in Auckland on 1st August. The participants from the political and business sectors shared their views around the developments in economic and trade cooperation the two companies have made in the past 50 years since the establishment of diplomatic relations. They also shared the ideas that both sides should work together to further expand co-operation in economic and trade in the future.
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says the relationship between New Zealand and China has deepened over the past 50 years since the establishment of diplomatic relations, and the two countries have become comprehensive strategic partners, making New Zealand-China relations one of the most important bilateral relationships. The Prime Minister says she hopes that the two countries can further strengthen cooperation in areas such as climate change, environmental sustainability and biodiversity, continue to deepen humanistic exchanges and promote business-to-business economic and trade cooperation.
New Zealand Trade Minister Damien O’Connor noted that the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement and the New Zealand-China Free Trade Agreement Upgrade Protocol both came into force this year, which is conducive to deepening economic and trade cooperation between the two countries. Many New Zealand companies are exploring diversified business models and trade platforms in China, with the China International Import Expo (CIIE) becoming an important showcase for New Zealand products to reach the Chinese market.
In mid August, I was lucky enough to meet Ambassador Clare Fearnley at a women leaders dinner in Shanghai. It’s been 4 years since I last met with the Ambassador and we discussed the future opportunities for Kea to work on the ground in China to help the development of SMEs in both countries.
Rebecca Bao, China Regional Director
UK & Europe
This month we have enjoyed the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, the largest multi-sport
event in the UK since pre-pandemic times. Team New Zealand had an incredible games and we are so proud of our team, their achievements across so many sports and how they represented us on the world sporting stage. Kea NZ team with boarder NZ Inc family were alongside supporting, and via our Kea Connect service we were able to ensure that NZ House at Edgbaston Golf Club was full of delicious New Zealand food and beverages throughout the course of the Games.
We have been fortunate to welcome our Kea CEO Toni Truslove to the market and thoroughly enjoyed spending time with Toni across UK, Amsterdam and Paris with the Kea community. An opportunity to connect with our partners, global community and share updates from home as well as the awesome work that our business leaders are doing across many different sectors.
As summer holidays come to an end, we look to schools returning and bit of normality as we head into autumn and festive season. Traditionally September is a time of change for many, those seeking new opportunities after the summer and we are seeing many exciting roles being advertised. Compounded by labour shortages, the market is competitive out there for
great people looking to head this way. Within this crowded market, a few of our New Zealand companies here have put together some creative ways to attract great talent and those from home. The team at Ozone Coffee Roasters – started by two Kiwis in the small surf town, Taranaki, are a close-knit, diverse family, 200 people strong in the UK & NZ. They are looking to have Kiwi chefs join their London operations and offering to pay flights to London on the completion of a
successful probation period and minimum sign up period of a year. The Heist Group – which owns Specialist Cellars and The Laundry in Brixton has also taken the costly move to register themselves to be able to sponsor Kiwi to the UK with visa assistance.
Offices are starting to fill up and busier Tuesday – Thursday, with Monday & Fridays becoming the norm to be working from home. A recent survey suggests that workers in the UK are going into the office on average 1.5 days per week, with only 13% in the office on a Friday. Consultancy Advanced Workplace Associates surveyed 43 offices in the UK, representing nearly 50,000 people, in June and July. It suggests average attendance was 29%, with a peak of 39% mid-week. Something to consider for our kiwi exporters looking to engage with partners and customers on market visits and also when they are investigating setting up operations here.
This week we said a fond goodbye to our High Commissioner, HE. Bede Corry as he heads to USA to take up the Ambassador post in Washington. It has been such a privilege to be a part of his UK journey here and look forward to seeing the great work he will do with Gary in the USA.
Sara Fogarty, Kea UK/Europe Regional Director
It has been a busy month for NZ activity in New York. The inaugural Air NZ flight from Auckland to New York is fast approaching, and the new service has had an extensive PR campaign city-wide. Bryant Park in midtown showed a revolving loop of picturesque imagery from NZ and yellow city cabs with digital screens on their roofs also displaying a slice of NZ speeding down city streets. Direct flights will be a game changer for Kiwis heading to the US, and with the UK and Europe a short distance away, NZ 1 and 2 will be kept busy with both NZ business and vacation travelers. The flight times are long but the convenience of getting on in Auckland and landing in New York City will cure the jet lag quickly.
As exporters target this market and plan trips abroad, it is worth remembering that the US and Europe are on vacation during July and August. This time of the year is like our Christmas; schools finish at the end of June people head away to their summer holiday homes and travel abroad. Schools are back around the end of August. It can be difficult to secure meetings and get people’s attention, so if this is your only window to travel, it is worth planning any meetings well in advance. I have been asked about recruitment trends in the US as new companies set up offices in this part of the world. We saw the great resignation last year as the pandemic pushed workers to rethink their career paths, work conditions, and long-term goals. As many workplaces start to bring their employees back to the office, they are offering more flexible options as workers have come to expect the freedom that remote work afforded them during the pandemic. People looking for new roles want to know that companies align with their values more, embrace diversity, and allow the flexibility of remote working as needed, this is the new normal.
Gary Fortune, Kea North America Regional Director
In good news for businesses relying on the tourism dollar, this month saw the return of cruise ships to our waters and new data from Statistics New Zealand and MBIE show a strong uptick in international visitor numbers and overseas card spend, with June 2022 seeing the highest number of international visitor arrivals since the border was closed in March 2020.
Since our borders fully reopened, working holiday makers have also started to return, with approximately 4,000 already in country and over 21,000 have had their application to work here approved. The Government is taking steps to help relieve workforce shortages facing New Zealand businesses in a series of measures announced mid August. These measures include:
- Additional workers able to enter country for sectors affected by international labour shortages
- Aged care, construction and infrastructure, meat processing, seafood, seasonal snow and adventure tourism sector agreements put in place
- Doubling of Working Holiday Scheme cap for 2022/23 will see an extra 12,000 working holiday makers able to enter New Zealand
- Onshore working holiday makers visas expiring between 26 August 2022 and 31 May 2023 will be extended for 6 months to keep workers that are already in country, and those offshore given more time to travel.
For businesses planning to export to Australia, New Zealand Story commissioned a country perception research study to understand the opportunities offered to New Zealand exporters. The report was released last month and highlights major perception shifts since the previous research in 2015. Australia is one of the most accessible international markets for New Zealand businesses to enter, and in 2022 Australia’s view of itself is changing – influencing its growing admiration for the values it perceives New Zealand represents.
This month MFAT opened consultation on New Zealand’s Export Controls regime which controls the export of strategic and certain other military end-use goods and technology, in line with New Zealand’s domestic and international obligations and commitments. The Ministry is encouraging participation from exporters, universities and researchers, civil society, and Māori, including iwi and hapū as Treaty partners. Have your say before 14 September.
Saya Wahrlich, Global Director, Government & Industry
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