Global Insights – June 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.
A recent study out of China this month suggests Chinese consumers have entered a new phase marked by increasing sophistication and prudence, sustainability, and the pursuit of work-life balance. New research from Accenture has uncovered shifts in the spending patterns and expectations of Chinese consumers as the country moves into a new stage of growth.
The comprehensive look at the world’s second largest consumer market captures key movements against the backdrop of the pandemic and accelerated digital transformation and have uncovered five key trends
- Me economy: Although family continues to play a central role, e-commerce platforms have shifted decision-making power from the head of the family to individuals, sparking the rise of the “me” economy. Some 69% of respondents indicated that they were not swayed by others, but considered their own preferences when making a purchase.
- Less is more: Chinese consumers are spending more prudently, with more than 90% saying they are unwilling to live paycheck to paycheck compared to 62% in 2017. More priority is also being placed on value and quality, with more thought going into each purchase.
- Master of time: Convenience is a growing priority for the Chinese consumer, with 62% willing to spend on services that free up time for leisure pursuits, compared to 55% in 2017.
- Living with tech: While consumers see value in the convenience of smart devices they are concerned over excessive push communications. Almost three quarters of respondents are unsatisfied with the content delivered via push communications as the content is irrelevant or not matched to consumers’ needs.
- Green growth: Some 98% of Chinese respondents not only recognise the “value of environmental protection and sustainable development” but say it influences their choices.
Also This month million of students across China have taken the gruelling Gaokao. This notorious nine hour exam determines which university students get into. A record of 11.93 million students took the test this year – 1.15 million more than last year. This is positive news for New Zealand universities hoping to welcome back foreign students.
Many Chinese are still very cautious about the safety of travelling abroad and are unlikely to all bee-line it across the borders any time soon. Yet Chinese students will be trailblazing travel abroad before tourists. It is much easier to justify China’s minimum 14 days re-entry quarantine after a year of study as opposed to a 5-10 day holiday.
This China insight was written with the help of China Skinny.
UK & Europe
This month we have been busy with brining our UK & Irish based community together with series of in person events. Kicking off with our World Class New Zealand Speaker Series breakfast with Owen Eastwood & Angela Kearns in London. Following this we were fortunate to bring together two great kiwi sporting organisations by hosting the New Zealand Cricket/ Blackcaps at McLaren with a tour of their facilities, generously hosted by Kea member Piers Scott, Global PR Director for McLaren and proud Kiwi.
Heading to Dublin, we were proud to support the launch of New Zealand Business Network in Ireland. Connecting Kea members in Ireland to the network and welcoming Speaker of the House, Trevor Mallard and a delegation from home with Ambassador Brad Burgess from the New Zealand Embassy and his team, provided us with invaluable time to reconnect with our community in Ireland and we look forward to building and nurturing these links.
Finally, we hosted 60 people in London this week for London Tech Week with NZTE and DIT. Including Iona Thomas, British High Commissioner Designate to New Zealand. A delegation of 12 New Zealand tech companies are in market and we were fortunate to host and to introduce them to the broader Kea tech community here alongside Kiwi business and service providers. The room was a buzz of ideas, conversation and connections.
It has been great to assist with introductions across all sectors and get back to reconnecting in person with our community. Looking ahead it’s going to be a busy summer with the Commonwealth Games and various UK events hosted by our visiting Kea CEO Toni Truslove. Keep an eye on our events page for details of what’s happening near you.
Sara Fogarty, Kea UK/Europe Regional Director
It’s been a busy month here in New York with visits from the University of Auckland, Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern, the Minister for Trade and Export Growth, Damien O’Connor, and the rest of the New Zealand trade delegation.
If there’s one thing the Covid-19 pandemic has highlighted, it’s the importance of global connections. Entrepreneurship, with its ability to transcend borders and inspire people
wherever they live, plays a key role in creating the relationships that tie Aotearoa to the rest of the world.
Representatives from Auckland University, including Dr Christine Woods met with inspiring Kiwi business women, including members of the Kea community in New York and San Francisco this month to discuss the many challenges female entrepreneurs face. The events follow last year’s appointment of Dr Woods as the inaugural Theresa Gattung Chair for Women in Entrepreneurship. Dr Woods will head the Centre for Enterprising Women, based at the University of Auckland Business School. The centre aims to play a crucial role in empowering women to access the knowledge and networks necessary to become successful entrepreneurs and these US events were a great place to start. Hearing the stories of these women makes you realised there is still a long way to go when it comes to tackling the gender imbalance in business.
As businesses start to travel again, many have the US in their sights. During her recent trade delegation the Prime Minister was busy facilitating introductions, exploring business opportunities, and letting the world know New Zealand is open for business. As part of the trip, Kea hosted New Zealand’s Minister for Trade and Export Growth, the Honorary Damien O’Connor, and New Zealand’s ambassador to the United States, Rosemary Banks, to meet members of our New York Kea community.
Guests heard from a compelling panel of inspiring Kiwi including Tessa Gould (Made by Nacho CEO), Craig Marris (Coretex founder), TimSharp (KREWE), and serial entrepreneur Guy Horrocks. (Flat White host, Solve Co-founder). Our panelists offered many insights based on their experience including the time it takes to break into the market, the challenges that you come up against and current problems around staff retention. With a red-hot job market creating more opportunities, employees have greater control over their career paths.
If you would like to hear about the trade delegation, from our Kea Connect business owners who were invited along, see our article here.
Gary Fortune, Kea North America Regional Director
This month the big news has been a ramp-up in offshore Ministerial visits, an insightful OECD report on trade and gender in New Zealand and the exciting announcement confirming the early removal of pre-departure Covid testing for travellers heading to New Zealand.
Off the back of successful trade missions in May to Singapore, Japan and the United States, this month Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern held a first bilateral meeting with new Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese in Sydney. Discussions focused on cooperation and engagement in the Pacific region, in particular the importance of working together to support Pacific partners facing a complex and growing array of challenges, including climate change and an increasingly contested strategic environment.
Also in June Trade Minister Damien O’Connor attended the Twelfth World Trade Organisation Ministerial Conference (MC12) in Europe. The MC12 provides a forum for New Zealand to work with WTO members on meaningful trade responses to the COVID-19 pandemic and the global food supply crisis. Minister O’Connor met with counterparts to discuss bilateral and regional trade and economic issues, and to progress New Zealand’s ongoing EU-NZ FTA negotiations. Ahead of the MC12 he also joined an informal Indo-Pacific Economic Framework for Prosperity (IPEF) ministerial meeting in Paris.
Earlier this month Minister O’Connor teamed up with Trade Ministers of the European Union, Ecuador, and Kenya in an agreement to work jointly to forge an inclusive Coalition of Trade Ministers on Climate. The agreement reflects a shared commitment to bringing the fight against climate change to the forefront of trade policy. The Coalition is expected to enhance international cooperation on the links between trade and climate and its contribution to sustainable development and environmental sustainability.
In a first in advancing the interests of women in trade, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and New Zealand have published a review on trade and gender in New Zealand. The ‘Trade and Gender Review of New Zealand’ sheds light on the outcomes of trade for New Zealand women in three economic roles—as workers, business leaders, and consumers—and examines trade policy settings that affect them. The main findings of the review show that over the past two decades the number of women in export employment in New Zealand has increased, and these women tend to be higher earners than women in non-exporting employment. However, it also outlines the work still to be done, as gender disparities in the export sector persist and tend to be larger than in the non-exporting economy.
Learn more about the Government’s Trade for All agenda here.
Finally, travel is about to get easier, with the announcement of the early removal of pre-departure Covid testing in time for the peak of ski season and Australia school holidays. Originally planned to halt by 31 July, testing is now no longer required from 21 June.
Stay up to date on travel requirements to New Zealand here.
Saya Wahrlich, Global Director, Government & Industry
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