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Wednesday, 23 March 2011

Whos Talkin - Crowdsourcing

On 17 March I wrote a post on the New Zealand company LanzaTech.   If you were interested in this company and what it is doing with clean technologies, you may have followed up the links provided.    If you were particularly interested in what people are saying in the social media about LanzaTech, you should check out a site such as Whos Talkin: http://www.whostalkin.com

If you do a search on LanzaTech you will retrieve a long list of results of 'who has been talking=blogging, twittering, writing'.   Whos Talkin also covers and includes this blog.

Searches work work very quickly if they are limited to one social medium, but it's worth persisting with a search across all the media.  For example type in the search 'wood exports' and click Twitter from the left-hand sidebar.  This should retrieve tweets on wood exports, and then either try another medium or a search across all.   Try it out - it may be a tool that really helps you keep up to date in your exporting or importing company.

Tuesday, 22 March 2011

Christchurch Exporters get Government Assistance

“To help build international confidence, a $2 million fund to support visits to overseas markets by earthquake-affected export businesses would be made available through New Zealand Trade and Enterprise. It would cover 75 per cent of eligible travel expenses.
"Exporters have expressed concerns about how people outside New Zealand perceive the ongoing effects of the earthquake on business.
"The funding to support visits to international markets will help them meet clients face-to-face, reinforce ongoing relationships and reassure them that Christchurch, and New Zealand, is open for business."  
On the NZTE webpage there is this piece which refers the reader on:

Canterbury earthquake assistance

Canterbury-based businesses affected by earthquakes may be able to access some special funding support from New Zealand Trade and Enterprise (NZTE).
A package of support measures for Canterbury businesses was announced by the Government on 22 March 2011. NZTE is putting in place systems to administer some of these and more details will be made available on this page once the support becomes available.
In the meantime, you can read the more in the Government’s media release:

Thursday, 17 March 2011


A company that is making news these days for the development and exporting of clean technology processes is New Zealand based Lanzatech.  It has won a number of recent awards and some of the key features of this company and its co-founder Sean Simpson are:
  •          Its entrepreneurial spirit
  •          New Zealand based company with offices in Shanghai and Illinois
  •          Initial research was library based
  •          Science and technology absolutely crucial to success
  •          First demonstration unit at Bluescope Steelmill, Glenbrook
  •          Contracts signed for plants in China, South Korea and India (NZ has FTA with China and negotiating FTAs with South Korea and India)
  •          Partnership approach – exploring all possibilities
  •          Compartmentalisation of IP
  •          In NZ there is potential for usage of biomass and agricultural waste.

You can read more about this exciting cleantech firm by using the sources below or looking in Index New Zealand which has four references to articles about this company.  If you want to check them out but don’t know how to use this National Library service look at the free Pathfinder that you will find at: http://www.export.ac.nz/freedownloads.html

Lanzatech company website: http://www.lanzatech.co.nz
Export Library & Information Service File Management System.  Case studies: Lanzatech.
McFadden, S. (2011) The scientist, the steel mill and the prima donna.   Unlimited magazine,  Feb-Mar.  pp.43-45.   Retrieved from:
Smellie, P. (2011) Lanzatech looks to go global without leaving home. Dominion Post 16 March.  C4.    Retrieved from:

Wednesday, 16 March 2011

Japanese Earthquake, March 11, 2011

On behalf of the New Zealand School of Export I offer my condolences to all those affected by this terrible disaster. Inevitably since Japan is one of our major export destinations, our exporters will be linked with distributors, logistics companies and others directly caught up in these events.
Ben Macintyre writing for the Times, republished in the Dominion Post March 16th, in an article entitled Why Quakes Leave the Japanese Unshakeable  mentions the Japanese word gaman.   He says that it is 'a concept that defies easy translation, but broadly means calm forbearance, perseverance and poise in the face of adverse events beyond one's control.'  
We wish the Japanese international trade community ganbatte kudasai || stand firm, hold out.   Or in Maori kia kaha || be strong.

Tuesday, 8 March 2011

Economic powerhouse - the South Island?

Mid-Canterbury, South Island, N.Z.

In his Comment column published in the Dominion Post for February 28, 2011, Tom Pullar-Strecker asserted that 'The mainland (= South Island for our non-NZ audience) is the powerhouse of our export economy.'

At first this seemed a bit far-fetched and I puzzled over how I would prove or disprove his statement.  Subsequently I was reading the February issue of NZ Manufacturer p.10 and came across these outstanding statistics for Mid-Canterbury which supplies:

  • 50% of world requirements for radish seeds
  • 35% of world requirements for white clover seeds
  • 33% of world requirements for carrot seeds
  • approx 30% of world requirements for bok choi seeds
  • 1/4 of all NZ feed grains
  • 60% of the seeds for growing pasture - underpinning a NZD$9 bn export industry
These figures at least go some way to proving Tom Pullar-Strecker right!  It's obviously a subject worth more investigation.

Wednesday, 2 March 2011

Our Audience

Like me, you have probably wondered who else is reading this blog.   Well it is interesting to look at and study the Pageviews by countries statistics.   In a recent month which I have analysed, 31.3% of pageviews were from the United States, and this is consistent with the month just passed as well.  Thank you to all those Americans who read Exportersblog - it's great to know that you are looking at the posts even if you feel you cannot comment.   However if you want to share comments from a US point of view, that would be great as it would add some zest to the blog I'm sure.

In the month from mid-January to mid-February, Dutch readers were the second largest group by pageview, followed by New Zealanders.   For the month just passed, those places were reversed.

It is obvious that pageview statistics will be influenced by the subject matter of each post and there have been a few posts on the TPP trade agreement negotiations which may have attracted US readers.   Canadians did not seem to be picking up on the blog at all.

Pageviews by readers from countries where English is not the first language were a staggering 47.5% in the month I analysed.   Of course English may be the language of business in those countries.

Readers' comments may have given us some idea of our readership, but like other blogs which I look at, it seems that people are content to read rather than leave comments.   If the Exportersblog  gives you information or even makes you think, then it is fulfilling its goals.   That said, more comments would be always be welcomed and appreciated.  Commenting is easy - there are instructions on the left hand side of this post.

Tuesday, 1 March 2011

Christchurch Earthquake February 22, 2011

The New Zealand School of Export offers its condolences to everyone affected by the earthquake, but in particular to companies located in and around Christchurch who are involved with international trade.  We hope that in the fullness of time you will be back in operation keeping the local and national economy going.  You are very much needed by us all. With support and best wishes to you and your staff.