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Thursday, 22 October 2009

Trade Commissioners - Trademakers

Recently a history of the New Zealand Trade Commissioner Service was published entitled: Agents Abroad. Exporters frantically involved in getting their products to market will probably say ‘I haven’t got time for history!

It does however highlight the role that the New Zealand Trade Commissioners play in developing or ‘making’ our international trade happen. You can find out whether your export destination has a trade commissioner you can contact by using the MFAT site:


Ever wondered what a Trade Commissioner actually does? Read our interview with Anne Chappaz, former New Zealand Trade Commissioner in Vancouver on the New Zealand School of Export website: http://www.export.ac.nz/freedownloads.html

By the way the book is fascinating – did you know that in 1901 Graham Gow was appointed as a New Zealand trade representative and he went around the world for the next 12 years searching for new markets for New Zealand products? It is available through the ELIS catalogue.

Wednesday, 21 October 2009

Intellectual Copyright and Anti Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA)

Mark Harris will be interviewed on Kim Hill's Saturday morning programme  on Radio New Zealand National this coming Saturday October 24th, 2009.  He will be speaking about ACTA and argues that the proposed regime could overlap with existing New Zealand copyright legislation and confuse principles already established by international bodies such as the World Trade Organisation (WTO) and the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO).

His submission on the Proposed Anti Counterfeiting Trade Agreement to the New Zealand Government  is available at:


Might be worth listening to since intellectual property is such an important aspect of international trade.

Monday, 19 October 2009

Trade in Services - Untapped Potential

There seems to be a continuing and exclusive focus on the export of goods. Even in a recent column by John Carran in the Dominion Post October 10, 2009 entitled No economic salvation likely from goods exports alone where the title seems to suggest there could be other kinds of exports which will help New Zealand, trade in services gets very little support.

This is in spite of the fact that the services share of New Zealand’s total exports is about 26% and the March 2009 Balance of Payments figures show there was an increase in the export of services. Charles Finny of the Wellington Regional Chamber of Commerce said in a press release on 25 June 2009 that ‘New Zealand exported $2.9 billion of services excluding transport and travel in the last 12 months. The range of services in this category includes:

Computer, financial, telecommunications, legal, advertising, architectural, film production, engineering and many other services.’

Is it time for exporters of services to bring some balance to the push for an export-driven recovery?

Photo: http://www.flickr.com/photos/telstar/135412439/ 20-foot (1 TEU) containers stacked in Alameda, California (Creative Commons-licensed content for noncommercial use requiring attribution)

Friday, 16 October 2009

Quality Web Content - free web writing guide for web portal content writers and web content providers

Quality Web Content - free web writing guide for web portal content writers and web content providers

This is one of Rachel McAlpine's websites - described as a 'one-stop shop for free articles and web content. It is a commercial site - she offers training courses, but the free articles are well worth looking at if your company is putting up a new website, or writing new material for one of your export products.

I have been reading her book Better Business writing on the Web and found it useful and challenging. These free articles might be an easier start.

Rachel is the Director of Quality Web Content Ltd, and is a New Zealand Trade and Enterprise E-business Guide Vendor.

Thursday, 15 October 2009

Fiji Fast Facts - Fiji Islands Trade and Investment Bureau

Fiji Fast Facts - Fiji Islands Trade and Investment Bureau

This website includes a series of more than 34 Factsheets about Fiji's trade partners including New Zealand. They are updated biannually in June and December. Each one give general information about the country, economic indicators for that country, Fiji's trade and investment relationship and Top 3 information:
* Top 3 exports
* Top 3 export destinations
* Top 3 imports
* Top 3 imported goods
Each Factsheet is a one-pager and could be printed and filed into a country folder or saved into your Knowledge Management system.

Monday, 12 October 2009

GuruOnline | Free Video Based Business Advice

GuruOnline | Free Video Based Business Advice

This is FREE video-based advice service made available by the Royal Bank of Scotland - there are 611 short videos in the Trade Advice section with more available under International Marketing, Finance, World Region, and Language & Translation. While the focus is on the UK exporter, there is still very useful information here.

Friday, 9 October 2009

Entrepreneurship hmmm...

Photo by Sushrutha Metikurke from http://sushrutha.blogspot.com and used with permission. Wind turbines at Te Apiti Wind Farm near Woodville 12 September 2009

Plenty of entrepreneurship involved in setting up these wind farms northeast of Palmerston North I would think. But what does entrepreneurship really mean?
There is a report by Jenny Keown in the Dominion Post today page C1, in which Sam Morgan (ex TradeMe) is interviewed. He says that he does not like the term entrepreneur, particularly when it is applied to him.

For exporters entrepreneurship is a key factor - what does it mean in international trade?

Sam Morgan is quoted as saying "For me, an entrepreneur is a business person who is yet to be successful. We are still struggling for a common defintion of what an entrepreneur is." When really pushed he said:

"Someone who builds a meaningful business to make a tonne of money is an entrepreneur"

What does the export/import industry think? Post your comment below.

Thursday, 1 October 2009

Words That Matter

Image source: http://www.worldaccent.com/blog/2008/09/mark-international-translation-day-with.html

Yesterday was International Translation Day. It may have been over-shadowed sadly by the tragic events in the Pacific as a result of the tsunami. Or if you were in Auckland by the Go Global Forum.

For the exporter going into a new market there are Words That Matter: publicity brochures, draft contracts, contracts of sale, legal agreements and letters of credit. Where English is not the language of business, translation is vital.

This is an area where exporters and others can fall into traps and ruin their chances of building a relationship and making a successful deal. Dennis Brown the Managing Director of Pacific International Translations (NZ) Ltd. has compiled a list of the six mistakes that can be made in getting business documents translated:

1. Using someone who is not a translator
2. Using someone translating into his/her second language
3. Using a translator who is out of his/her depth
4. Inadequate checking and editing
5. Imposing a time frame that is too tight
6. Not using a professional translation service

For the full article in pdf format: The six biggest mistakes in getting business documents translated (and how to avoid them) go to: http://www.pactrans.co.nz/translation/6%20Worst%20Mistakes.pdf (With permission from the Author)

Machine translation such as is used by Google, does not take into account the context of the document as it was written or the context in which it will be read so that issues of vocabulary and appropriate style are ignored. It may of course give some indication of the meaning of a document so that an exporter would know what he/she is dealing with, before a professional translation is requested.

Incidentally the translation day was established in 1991 by the Fédération Internationale des Traducteurs (International Federation of Translators). The date of 30 September was chosen as it is the feast day of St. Jerome (347-420 AD), patron saint of translators, interpreters and librarians. The day celebrates and promotes translation as an essential activity in contemporary society – but one which too often remains invisible and ignored.

Each year a particular theme, highlighting a different area of translation, is adopted – with this year's being "Terminology: Words Matter". As the Federation put it, "the specific need is for words that matter, words that describe a previously identified concept and that contribute to the clarity and effectiveness of communication in a given field of expertise, environment or community."