2nd Korea-New Zealand Business Roundtable highlights new possibilities for business co-operation

by | Jul 7, 2010 | Media Releases

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The 2nd Korea-New Zealand Business Roundtable, which took place in Seoul on 6 July, has been successful in reaffirming the importance of the economic and business relationship and pointing to new possibilities for co-operation, the New Zealand International Business Forum (NZIBF) said today.

Addressing the event’s closing lunch, NZIBF Chairman, Graeme Harrison said that the discussion at the Roundtable, organised by NZIBF and the Korea International Trade Association (KITA), had successfully taken forward the dialogue initiated last year.

“It is clear that both countries are facing similar challenges. Increasing economic growth in the region is giving rise to changes in the way we do business as supply chains become more integrated and we all seek to get closer to our customers”.

Mr Harrison said the policy framework in which business is conducted needs to change to keep pace with the way business is being done.

“That is why so many of us in business are so keen to see the remaining barriers to trade and investment progressively dismantle and a new region-wide economic space put in place.

“That economic space would try to foster smoother market integration by addressing behind the border barriers, promoting regulatory co-operation, expanding investment and facilitating research and innovation”.

Mr Harrison said that this process could be assisted by a successful conclusion to the FTA negotiations underway between Korea and New Zealand.  He welcomed the positive outcome of Prime Minister John Key’s talks with President Lee Myung-Bak in Seoul which confirmed that the two leaders remained committed to achieving an FTA as soon as possible and instructed Trade Ministers to meet to resolve outstanding differences in the negotiation.

“Of course Korea will continue to sell more cars and high tech consumer goods in New Zealand and we will continue to sell food and fibre products in Korea.  But there is more we can do to add value to our traditional business and to develop the new bridgeheads we have seen today in information technology, health services, green growth and clean technologies”.

The Roundtable brought together around 70 delegates from both countries under the theme “Innovation, Growth and Opportunity”. The Roundtable was addressed by Prime Minister John Key and KITA Chairman Dr Il Sakong and business sessions were chaired by the President of KITA’s International Trade Institute Dr Kyung-Tae Lee and Mr Harrison.
A highlight of the Roundtable was a powerful opening video presentation of the relationship commissioned by NZIBF with the support of the Asia NZ Foundation.

Business sessions focused on Korea’s aims as G20 Chair, the impact of the economic recovery on business and the trade policy outlook as well as case studies of actual or potential co-operation in the areas of information technology, health services, green growth and clean technologies.

A luncheon was held with the theme “Taste of New Zealand” and an address by the celebrated Korean film maker Mr Ju-ik Lee who has made movies in New Zealand.

On 5 July members of the New Zealand delegation joined a breakfast organised by the Kiwi Chamber of Commerce in Korea which was addressed by the Prime Minister.  Delegates also attended the 26th Annual Joint Meeting of the Korea NZ Business Council.

“This has been a big week for New Zealand in Korea.  We have demonstrated support for the FTA process.  We have also agreed with KITA to look at holding a further Roundtable at an appropriate time” concluded Mr Harrison.

Presentations from the Roundtable will be posted to the NZIBF website www.nzibf.co.nz shortly.

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