Executive Director Stephen Jacobi offers his annual end of year round up. Amidst some challenging times, he reports some light in the tunnel.
The New Trade Environment Through An Indigenous Lens
APEC BUSINESS ADVISORY COUNCIL
ADDRESS TO AUCKLAND TRADE AND ECONOMIC POLICY SCHOOL
SESSION TWO: THE NEW TRADE ENVIRONMENT: IMPLICATIONS FOR AOTEAROA NEW ZEALAND
FRIDAY 4 DECEMBER 2020, RACHEL TAULELEI, ABAC NZ and CEO, KONO
Tēnā koutou katoa
It is fantastic to be here with you this afternoon, part of two days’ worth of conversations about three things that I hold very dear: inclusion, sustainability and trade.
Those elements are absolutely central to what gets me out of bed in the morning as CEO of Kono.
They are also fundamental to the new role which I formally assumed a couple of weeks ago, as the Chair of the APEC Business Advisory Council, or ABAC, which was set up by APEC Economic Leaders to advise them about the priorities and concerns of the Asia-Pacific business community.
I have been asked to speak about the new trade environment, and the implications for Aotearoa. A weighty topic, that deserves discussion.
And today, I would like to start with a story.
This is the story of a heke, a migration.
Two centuries ago, my ancestors migrated from the North to the South in a series of epic migrations, settling in Te Tau Ihu, the northern South Island. We were the original land-owners and providores of that land. We lived by trading the fruits of our labour from its gardens, forests and waters.
Today, we still take immense pride in our role as purveyors of the finest foods and beverages grown from the land and waters that our tūpuna knew.
We are still traders – but today we export our products to over twenty-five countries around the Asia-Pacific and around the world.
We draw inspiration from the kono – the basket of produce that our people offer to guests in the proud tradition of manaakitanga.
Quite simply, at Kono we aspire to be the best indigenous food and beverage business in the world. We are an exporter of award-winning wine, cider, seafood, fruit and natural fruit bars.
Our guiding principle is ‘love for the land, respect for the sea’.
Our purpose is to preserve and enhance our taonga for the benefit of current and future generations. We want to create something that our community – our families, our staff, our customers and our associates – can be proud of, and benefit from.
And sustainability is central to everything that we do.
Fishing is a traditional source of economic and cultural wealth for Māori. At Kono we use science-based catch plans and sustainable aquaculture approaches so we can meet demand without destroying the ecosystem.
Likewise, our wine and fruit is produced to the highest standards of sustainability and innovation.
And, as it happens, these are things that also help us to attain a premium position in global markets, responding to what our customers value.
So – inclusion, sustainability, trade.
It gives me huge pleasure to be able to bring those values into my role as the Chair of ABAC for 2021.
Through hosting ABAC, we have a genuine opportunity to help shape the wellbeing, not just of Asia-Pacific businesses, but of all in our communities for years to come.
Our theme for 2021 is “People, Place and Prosperity.”
Or as we like to think of it: “Tāngata, Taiao, me te Taurikura”
People (tāngata) is at the heart of this new agenda – their well-being, their hopes and aspirations for a future beyond COVID.
Two of our key priorities are around greater inclusion for women and indigenous peoples, and continuing to find ways to build the capabilities of small businesses.
Of course, questions around inclusion are central to the “new trade environment” of the title.
In the last few years, the world has increasingly recognised that it is not enough simply to grow the pie. Aggregate gains to the global economy or to our national economies is necessary – but it is certainly not sufficient – to create the kinds of societies we want to live in.
We must go further to ensure that everyone has a seat at the table. In the words of the Putrajaya Vision which was agreed by APEC Economic Leaders, including the Rt Hon Jacinda Ardern, a few weeks ago, we are seeking an open, dynamic, resilient and peaceful Asia-Pacific community – “for the prosperity of all our people and future generations”.
We have a saying where I come from – “be good ancestors” – and I am delighted to see that ethos writ large in APEC too.
I am particularly excited to see what we can do to bring indigenous economic development to the forefront of the ABAC agenda – working with partners around the region including Peru, Chile, Chinese Taipei, Canada, Australia and others.
I want to see us unlock some of the huge potential in Māori business and communities: Kono and other food and beverage producers, along with dynamic digital firms, tourism and education, technology companies and so many more.
Like so many indigenous economies around the world, the Māori economy is a developing economy inside one which is already developed. But that status should not constrain how we think about indigenous economies.
The Māori economy is experiencing growth at a faster rate than the national economy. Developing is not undeveloped. Developing is a sign of innovation, resilience and regeneration.
So, I want to see us raise the profile of indigenous peoples, and really think about how we can accelerate the empowerment of indigenous entrepreneurs, businesses and communities.
It’s not all that easy to get your arms around the shape of the problem or understand exactly what’s needed to solve it. Like many of the issues in the “new trade environment”, this is relatively unchartered territory. But we are making a good start.
So far, we have produced a comprehensive ecosystem report on the Maori economy and will continue to update it as new information is published; we have an alternate member proposal in the works to broaden the bench strength of Maori; we’re working with APEC on their Maori Success programme; we’re developing a rangatahi Maori programme ride-along style; and we’ve convened a Māori business advisory group called Kāhui Ārahi to help us provide some direction to these conversations.
So, I’m eager to see how far we can go on that important mahi.
Back to our three pillars.
Closely related to people is place (taiao).
Despite a contested political and economic context, we have the opportunity to show true leadership as an Asia-Pacific business community in addressing and mitigating climate change and building a low-carbon future. My good friend and ABAC colleague Malcolm Johns will lead our work there.
Allied to that effort, we must consider how to expand the development of renewable energy, level the playing field for environmentally responsible goods and services and build a trade-friendly and digitally-enabled sustainable food system.
And of course, because we are at a trade conference, I cannot move on without mentioning the moral imperative to eliminate environmentally-harmful subsidies including those blighting fishing, agriculture production and fossil fuel use.
As businesses too we know a lot about the creation of value over time – this value is what gives rise to economic and social progress and brings me to our third pillar, prosperity (taurikura).
In 2021, as we contemplate COVID’s body blows to the region’s economies, we need to think more purposefully than ever before about what is needed for us to do business successfully and seamlessly in the Asia Pacific region.
Successful business is underpinned by effective trade rules, by processes and negotiations which reduce barriers over time and by an enabling environment for innovation, especially in the digital space.
Today our businesses are constrained by the pandemic, but we need to look to tomorrow and the ways in which our economies can be rebuilt and revitalised. So we will be focusing on keeping the WTO strong and relevant, on building the Free Trade Area of the Asia Pacific, on unlocking the dynamism of the services sector, and on getting rid of those most noxious features of the new trade environment, non-tariff barriers.
Sadly, my time is nearly up – but let me share one final thought. The APEC acronym is sometimes jokingly explained as “A Perfect Excuse for a Conversation” – well, like this conference itself, there has never been a more important time for that conversation to take place.
REGISTER WITH TRADE WORKS
Register to stay up to date with latest news, as well as saving and discussing articles you’re interested in.
As I write this end of year dispatch, NZIBF is preparing to host the first meeting for 2023 of the APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC). We are looking forward to welcoming the 200 or so business leaders and senior officials from APEC member economies across the...
Media Release - 14 December 2022 Sustainability, digitalisation and resilient, inclusive trade will be key themes of a major gathering of senior Asia-Pacific business leaders to be held in Auckland early next year – the first such event to be held in New Zealand...
Following his recent visit to India our Executive Director Stephen Jacobi penned this article advocating a more strategic approach to the further development of the relationship. The article was published by the NZ Herald on 9 December.
Issued by the Informal Senior Officials’ Meeting - Honolulu, The United States, 13 December 2022 Aiming to provide tailwinds for member economies to strengthen recovery and resilience, as well as advance broad-based economic growth, the United States rolled out its...
ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING 2022 CHAIR’S REPORT I am pleased to present my second report on the activities and achievements of the NZ International Business Forum (NZIBF) for 2022-23, our fifteenth year of operations. At the outset I would like to thank Members for...
Issued by the APEC Economic Leaders' Meeting Bangkok, Thailand, 19 November 2022 The Leaders of the 21 APEC member economies issued the 2022 Leaders’ Declaration following the 29th APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting chaired by the Prime Minister of Thailand,...
New Zealand business will be represented at the APEC Leaders’ Week in Bangkok, commencing 13 November, by members of the APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC). New Zealand’s three members – Rachel Taulelei, Malcolm Johns and Anna Curzon – supported by Stephen Jacobi...
Submission to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade: Re-Development of the Framework for Integrating Labour Standards and Trade Agreements
Submission by NZIBF – October 2022 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...
ADDRESS TO THE 51st ONE STOP UPDATE FOR THE ACCOUNTANT IN BUSINESS AUCKLAND, 25 OCTOBER 2022 STEPHEN JACOBI EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR NZ INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS FORUM GLOBAL ECONOMIC UPDATE Thanks to Brightstar for inviting me back to address this conference once again. When...
Submission by Export NZ and NZIBF - 29 September 2022 1.0 INTRODUCTION 1.1 Export New Zealand (ExportNZ) and the New Zealand International Business Forum (NZIBF) welcome the opportunity to comment on the Ministry for Primary Industries’ (MPI) Modernising Our Export...
30 September 2022 Phil Mellor Economic Division, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Wellington (By email) Dear Phil, Thank you for your email of 1 September, seeking our comments on the three year review of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans...
The now widespread use of the term “Indo Pacific” to describe the region to which New Zealand belongs brings a risk of geographical confusion. When did the “Asia Pacific” become the Indo Pacific? For thirty years or more New Zealand has sought to enhance...
Of Interest Podcast: Stephen Jacobi on the importance of NZ’s trade relationship with China, the risks to it, and opportunities to diversify to other countries
By Gareth Vaughan, featuring Stephen Jacobi, Executive Director of the New Zealand International Business Forum, for the latest episode of interest.co.nz's Of Interest Podcast. China is far and away New Zealand's key export market. But this comes with...
Amidst the political topsy turvy of recent weeks came the news that the Government has refreshed its Trade Recovery Strategy. That’s good news because, for exporters and the global economy as a whole, it’s tough out there. The pandemic is by no means over, there...
ADDRESS TO THE WORLD AFFAIRS FORUM AUCKLAND, 22 AUGUST 2022 STEPHEN JACOBI EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR NZ INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS FORUM TURBULENCE IN GLOBAL TRADE Thanks to Greg Thwaite for inviting me to speak to you this evening. It’s good to be back in the habit of meeting...