An Open Letter to Trade Minister O’Connor

We write this open letter to express the strong support of the New Zealand business community for ambitious outcomes at the Twelfth World Trade Organization (WTO) Ministerial Conference (“MC12”).

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Submission to the Parliamentary Select Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade

by | Feb 14, 2020 | Submissions | 0 comments


This submission is made on behalf of the NZ International Business Forum (NZIBF), whose members are listed at Annex A.  NZIBF is a forum of senior business leaders working together to promote New Zealand’s engagement in the global economy.  NZIBF provides policy advice and support to the New Zealand members of the APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC).


NZIBF supports the objectives of the Asia Pacific Economic Co-operation (APEC 2021) Bill (“the Bill”).   NZIBF attaches considerable importance to the hosting of a successful APEC Leaders’ Week in Auckland in November 2021 and believes the Bill’s provisions are necessary to hold a successful meeting.

About the New Zealand International Business Forum 

NZIBF provides a voice to articulate the needs and priorities of New Zealand’s international business community, and in particular the importance of open markets, to the New Zealand Government and public stakeholders.  The NZIBF Board brings together leaders from amongst New Zealand’s largest internationally oriented companies, several of which actively trade in the ASEAN region, and peak business organisations representing many exporters of all sizes engaged in trade with ASEAN member countries.  (A list of Board Members is in Annex A.) 

Incorporated in May 2007, NZIBF works with companies, business organisations and government agencies to implement projects in the international trade and economic sphere, including working to develop New Zealand’s key international business relationships and conducting research relative to New Zealand’s competitiveness.   NZIBF receives no direct government funding for its operating budget but from time to time receives funding for jointly-funded projects.  Funding in respect to the policy advice and support which NZIBF provides to the New Zealand members of the APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC) is provided by both MFAT and NZIBF.   

The importance of APEC

APEC is the premier inter-governmental forum for promoting economic integration and more open, sustainable and inclusive trade and investment in the Asia Pacific region.  Although APEC is a voluntary and non-binding organisation, it is an important incubator for ideas that later become adopted in binding free trade agreements.  APEC provides an important forum for discussion and co-operation on key issues and capacity building for the region’s developing economies.   New Zealand has long paid a key role in APEC, recognising the importance of APEC’s influence on both the regional and global agenda.

NZIBF’s belief in the importance of APEC is reflected in the policy advice and support it provides to the three members of ABAC.  NZIBF has performed this role since 2009 with costs shared between NZIBF and MFAT.  In anticipation of New Zealand’s hosting year in 2021, these arrangements have recently been expanded to enable New Zealand Members to discharge their responsibilities in chairing ABAC.

Chairing APEC and ABAC in 2021 will provide a number of benefits in terms of being able to influence the agenda for integration in the region, showcasing New Zealand expertise and capabilities and developing new business opportunities.  It is important that New Zealand delivers a memorable and impactful series of events in 2021 culminating in APEC Leaders’ Week.

The provisions in the Bill

The provisions in this Bill cover security and logistical matters which in the assessment of NZIBF are critical for ensuring a successful APEC Leaders’ Week.  APEC Leaders’ Week in November 2021 will be the largest inter-governmental conference ever hosted in New Zealand.  The arrangements especially in relation to the Leaders of the 21 APEC economies and their staff will be necessarily complex and challenging.  This requires amendments to a number of legislative requirements and regulatory practices as outlined in the Bill.

Recommendations to the Committee 

NZIBF recommends that the Committee: 

  1. note the NZIBF’s support for holding APEC Leaders’ Week in New Zealand in November 2021 
  2. note NZIBF’s support for the provisions outlined in the Bill. 

For further information 

Stephen Jacobi, Executive Director, NZ International Business Forum 

Phone: 0294 725 502 


NZ International Business Forum 

February 2020

Annex A 


Executive Committee 

Malcolm Bailey (Chair), Chair, Dairy Companies’ Association of New Zealand 

Michael Barnett, Chief Executive, Auckland Regional Chamber of Commerce and Industry (representing the New Zealand Chambers of Commerce

Bruce Cameron, Chairman, Zespri International Ltd

Philip Gregan, Chief Executive, NZ Winegrowers

Kirk Hope, Chief Executive, Business NZ 

John Loughlin, Chairman, Meat Industry Association 

Sam McIvor, Chief Executive, Beef + Lamb NZ

Alan Pollard, Chief Executive, NZ Apples and Pears 

Hon Simon Power, General Manager, Consumer Banking and Wealth, Westpac

Katherine Rich, Chief Executive, NZ Food and Grocery Council

Sarah Salmond, Special Counsel/Head of International Trade, Minter Ellison 

Tim Silverstone, General Counsel and General Manager, Corporate Affairs, Sealord Group 

Simon Tucker, Director, Global Stakeholder Affairs, Fonterra Co-operative Group

Associate members 

NZIBF’s membership comprises a range of associate members who are listed on our website, 


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