Global Insights – December 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.
2022 was a year when the world began to travel again. It has been a busy year for visitors to the US, with the borders opening up earlier in the year, many New Zealand companies made their first trip to the US market in more than two years. Many of the trends we saw in 2022 will continue to be a key focus for businesses in the coming year, with a lot of uncertainty around economic climates, sustainability and the lingering effects of Covid.
Governments and companies will be under pressure to continue to tackle these challenges and businesses will need to make sure that environmental, social, and governance (ESG) processes are at the centre of strategic plans.
In the US we continue to see more and more consumers looking for credible and authentic products and services when choosing to part with their hard earned dollars, and that trend will continue to grow next year.
As businesses plan their 2023 travel, it is worth remembering that July and August are the two months of the year when the US closes for its annual summer holidays. It can be hard to pin meetings down during this time of the year. Also worth noting is that the US briefly stops for a week over Christmas and New Year, and then it’s business as usual. Although it’s winter here, it is an excellent time to travel to this part of the world for business.
I am looking forward to continuing to unearth the amazing Kiwi in the US next year and to keep helping connect the dots for New Zealand businesses. There will be all sorts of opportunities for US market entry next year and I look forward to assisting where I can. Merry Christmas.
Gary Fortune, Kea North America Regional Director
UK and Europe
As the snow falls and London looks like a scene from Narnia, it’s a chance to reflect on 2022. A full year back to in-person events and opportunities to connect.
Here in the UK we are still facing challenges, with the cost of living crisis, the backdrop of the Ukraine war and continued strikes across the UK making the end of year Christmas festivities, final meetings in person and time in the office a challenge to navigate.
This year has been a big one for Kea we have hosted over 1300 Kiwi at events across UK and Europe. As a global team, Kea NZ has assisted over 500 business connections around the globe, with insights, support and further connections. This is at the heart of what we do at Kea, and it doesn’t happen without the wonderful and inspiring community we have. As a region, New Zealand has been at the forefront of government and trade relations with negotiations for both Free Trade Agreements in the UK and Europe secured this year. Ratification and implementation for these agreements should come into force in 2023 and the effects felt by our NZ exporters shortly after. Alongside this we have reciprocal improvements to the Youth Mobility Scheme, extending the age of eligibility for the visa from 30 to 35, and extending the length of stay allowed to 3 years. Both sides are committed to the improved scheme being in place no later than 2024 and both sides are working hard to see if it can be delivered sooner. We welcome those looking to head on their OE and take advantage of being a part of a very special diaspora community.
Some highlights for me in the UK and Europe region this year were welcoming our CEO Toni Truslove to the region on her first market visit, sharing a World Class Speaker series with Owen Eastwood and WCNZ’er Angela Kearns and celebrating our Kea World Class Awards where we were thrilled to honour the amazing Katie Sadleir and the incredible work that she does across the globe with various sporting teams and industry bodies and more recently with the Commonwealth Games Federation. Finally, it was wonderful to celebrate with our community in London last week with more than 100 people joining us for our Festive Spin Christmas dinner. A chance to close out the year and see special connections and friendships made.
We have worked with so many NZ companies in the market alongside our NZ Inc and global partners. Thank you all for your time, late night and early morning zoom calls, in-person coffee dates, and the opportunity to connect you with fellow Kiwi and businesses. Wishing you and yours a safe, happy festive season. Meri Kirihimete from us in London.
Sara Fogarty, Kea UK/Europe Regional Director
2022 has been a very special year for Kea in China. I am grateful to be able to reconnect with the Kiwi community through my role as China Regional Director. In the past few months, I have met with many energetic Kiwi who are so positive about the future between New Zealand and China.
With the support of our Government partners, Kea plays an important role in facilitating various events and connections in China. I would like to highlight a few – recently we provided five out of eight outstanding candidates for the NZ-Shanghai Virtual Young Leaders Dialogue in November. This is an event hosted by the New Zealand Consulate-General in Shanghai and Asia New Zealand Foundation marking 50 years of diplomatic relations between New Zealand and China. Kea also co-hosted New Zealand Featured Brands Promotion Reception during the 5th China International Import Expo (CIIE) which introduced nearly 20 New Zealand products that are not yet widely known in the China market and in Kea’s Gift Guide it’s exciting to find that Chinese consumers carry on showing strong interest in products from New Zealand. The People, Country and Business ties between the two countries remain strong.
This month China gradually lifted the zero-Covid policy. Most people who test positive can now isolate at home and the international traveller’s quarantine policy has been reduced to 3-day home isolation (0+3) from the previous “7+3” and “5+3” practice. It brings a transition to living with the virus across China. The search for international flights has increased 4x compared to this time last month. But it is estimated that the peak of the first wave may come alongside the Chinese New Year holiday.
Based on the experience of other countries, there is a high hope that China will start to return to pre-pandemic activity in the first half of 2023. This is certainly good news for the Kiwi community here in China and for the business community eager to be able to visit the market once again.
For those looking to visit it’s important to note that most Chinese businesses will close from Friday the 20th of January until Monday the 30th of January for the Chinese New Year. I hope you all have a very Merry Christmas and New Year.
Rebecca Bao, China Regional Director
This year saw the very welcome lifting of Covid related border restrictions in most countries including New Zealand, opening the doors for international business travel, tourism and reconnecting with friends and family.
Kiwi exporting businesses have enjoyed significant progress on trade agreements this year. On 1 March New Zealand signed a high quality, comprehensive free trade agreement with the United Kingdom, one of the world’s largest economies and an important, long-standing partner. The NZ-China Free Trade Agreement upgrade entered into force in April further reducing barriers for exporters and boosting trade. It was a world first for any developed country when New Zealand entered into the original free trade agreement with China in 2008, giving us a unique competitive advantage at the time. On 30 June New Zealand and the European Union concluded negotiations on a free trade agreement.
New Zealand has long standing historical, cultural, political and economic ties to Europe. This FTA creates new opportunities, cuts cost through more favourable access to the EU, and will play an important role in our Trade Recovery Strategy. In November negotiations on the upgrade of the ASEAN-Australia-New Zealand agreement establishing a Free Trade Area (AANZFTA) were largely concluded.
The second half of 2022 was packed with travel – with Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Ministers including Hon Damien O’Connor, Minister for Trade and Export Growth and Hon Stuart Nash, Minister of Tourism reaffirming New Zealand’s economic ties, spending time with their counterparts and promoting education, tourism and trade. Trade missions and business delegations were made to countries including Viet Nam, Singapore, Japan, Indonesia, the Republic of Korea, the United Kingdom, the United States and Australia.
Looking ahead to 2023 the focus will be on the Census in March and the New Zealand General Election, for which a date is yet to be announced, but will be no later than 13 January 2024. Held every five years, the Census provides a snapshot of our society at a point in time and helps to tell the story of its social and economic change. Census information is used by government agencies, local authorities, businesses, community organisations, and the public for developing and implementing new policies, research, planning, and decision-making. It helps guide decisions about how to best use public funding, especially in areas of health, education, housing, and transport.
Saya Wahrlich, Global Director, Government & Industry
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