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Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Greece and its exports

Over the past months the Greece debt crisis has loomed large in global economic news.   In a recent newspaper article by David Charter entitled Papandreou looks on the sunny side of German bailouts , a plan to set up a huge solar power project called Helios is briefly outlined.  If it goes ahead Greece will be able to export solar energy to Northern Europe.   This does raise the question in my mind: What does Greece actually export?

Trade in services is obviously very important with Tourism heading that list.  Greece’s main products exports are food and beverages, petroleum products, chemicals and textiles.   Its principal export partners in 2010 were countries of the EU: Germany and Italy.

What does Greece export to New Zealand?   The main products imported into New Zealand from Greece were plastics products, vegetable preparation products, aluminium sheets and fresh grapes.   Greece is 64th in the country rankings for trade with New Zealand with a NZD$44 million trade surplus in New Zealand’s favour for the year ended June 2010.   Export of goods from Greece to New Zealand has been growing steadily from NZ$12 million in 2003 to NZ$20.5 million  in 2010. 

Information Sources:
Charter, D. (2011) Papandreou looks on the sunny side of German bailouts. Dominion Post 28 September, 2011 p.C5
Global New Zealand – International Trade, Investment, and Travel Profile 2010. Wellington: Statistics New Zealand.  Available in pdf format.
Statistics New Zealand Infoshare database.
World Factbook. https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/gr.html

Photo from the Greek National Tourism Organisation.

Monday, 17 October 2011

Disaster for exporters - Container ship Rena

Source: http://www.maritimenz.govt.nz/images/Incident-area/Salvage6-small.jpg.  Maritime New Zealand. (All images in the incident gallery are available for re-use.)

This photo shows the containers on the grounded ship Rena at a dangerous list.  A number of containers have already fallen overboard and have been washed up on beaches in the Bay of Plenty.

I had occasion last week to go to the local branch of Macaulay Metals - a New Zealand exporter of scrap metal based in Lower Hutt.   I asked the assistant who helped me how things were going.  It was quite an innocent question asked because I was interested in this exporting company.   He said:  'Well not too good - we've got three containers of metal on the stranded ship going overseas'.!

No doubt Macaulay Metals is not alone in having a precious cargo of exports already ruined either because it has fallen off the ship, or because the consignment is perishable and the containers are no longer linked to any power source.   The focus for Maritime New Zealand at the moment is to get the oil from the ship before it causes further environmental damage and once that is completed then to remove the containers that remain.

This sad incident highlights the dependence of New Zealand's international trade on maritime transportation.  When all is going well we tend to forget about the supply chain, and only in the case of a disaster such as this do we remember these vital links.

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

Steve Jobs - 1955-2011 Exporter and entrepreneur

Steve Jobs.  Photo by dfarber. Creative Commons licence non-commercial only.

Much has been written following Steve Jobs’ death on October 5.  Few if any of those writers have noted that as the developer of the i-gadgets – iMac, iPod, iPad and iPhone – he was an exporter.   His ideas and the technologies he fronted have been sent around the world.  There are now so many other companies who are marketing and exporting these technologies.
In his obituary for Steve Jobs, Bruce Newman writes  that he ‘altered the landscape of popular culture’ in three areas: music, movies and computers.  Everywhere around the world, his influence through the ‘exporting of his ideas’ has been and still is felt.   Indeed he has changed our language with the introduction of the  ‘mouse’ at the time of the launch of the Macintosh in 1984.   And at the moment and probably for some time to come, the phrase ‘I’ve got an Apple’ doesn’t mean we have a fruit.
Many of us are familiar with his entrepreneurial beginnings in business, when he and Steve Wozniak started the Apple company and the Apple brand which has become synonymous with style and ease of use.  Steve Jobs was a model for all those who believe that export products should have a clear aesthetic in their design and be high quality products.
May he rest in peace.

Sources: Newman, B. (2011) Sun King reigned over Silicon Valley. [Obituary] published in the Dominion Post Friday October 7, 2011 p.B5
Rogers, C. (2011) He changed your world, whether you bought an Apple gadget or not.  Dominion Post Friday October 7, 2011 p.A1

Monday, 10 October 2011

IATTO Forum Chengdu, China 2011 - Why you should not miss this Forum

James Foley, current Chairman of IATTO has set out ten top reasons why you should go to China for the 2011 Forum next month:

  1. First time ever for IATTO to hold a forum in China.
  2. Outstanding professional development opportunities including insights into China, the global economy and trade, technology and trade, entrepreneurship, and case examples of firms expanding internationally.
  3. Over 20 leading speakers in international trade training, education, and promotion.
  4. Opportunities to visit Chengdu - one of the fastest growing and economically dominant cities in inland China. We will also visit the Xindo Industry Park, Furniture Park, and International Trading City. 
  5. Networking opportunities with colleagues from around the world.
  6. Get industry insights such as the Chinese solar industry and best practices in outsourcing.
  7. Better understand the unique challenges of trade training and promotion in emerging economics as seen from China, the US, and Europe. 
  8. Visit the campus of our host - the Nordic International Management Institute (NIMI).  See their beautiful new campus and learn about exchange opportunities with this growing university.
  9. A rare opportunist to visit the Giant Panda Breeding Center outside Chengdu - a 600 acre research and breeding ground where you will see these wonderful ambassadors for China freely roaming.
  10. Gain new friends.  Renew old friendships!
One of the reasons he lists is that it is on the campus of the Nordic International Management Institute (NIMI):

That seems to be a standout reason in itself!

Go to IATTO:    http://www.iatto.org 
and NIMI:          http://www.nimichina.com/

Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Argentina - Quarter-finalist and its bilateral links with New Zealand

Argentina is another of the nations who are currently in New Zealand for Rugby World Cup 2011.  It is the only Spanish-speaking nation and the only one from South America.  The Argentinian flag is shown in the centre of this photo with England to its right.  Photo taken at the New Zealand School of Export September 2011.

 On Sunday 9th October the New Zealand All Blacks will play the Argentinian rugby team the Pumas, in the quarter-finals of the Rugby World Cup in Auckland.

New Zealand and Argentina have a number of things in common: a temperate climate, an economic focus on primary products commodities, whale conservation, climate change and the environment, and of course a rugby playing heritage.

Argentina ranked 65th as an export destination for New Zealand goods and services with a trade gap valued at almost $70 million in Argentina's favour.  A large percentage of Argentina's exports to New Zealand are made up of Food waste and animal feed.   Over the period 2006-2008 short-term visitor arrivals (tourists) from Argentina to New Zealand increased to over 6000 in 2009.

New Zealand Trade and Enterprise has prepared an Exporter Guide for Argentina and this is available from the NZTE website at: http://www.nzte.govt.nz/explore-export-markets/South-America/Doing-business-in-Argentina/Pages/Argentina-country-brief.aspx  
You will also find this  by clicking here for the ELIS catalogue: http://ets.kohalibrary.com/cgi-bin/koha/opac-search.pl?q=argentina 
A number of New Zealand companies are actively engaged in Argentina and a list of a few is found on this page from the University of Auckland's Centre for Latin American Studies: http://www.arts.auckland.ac.nz/uoa/new-zealand-companies

Argentina has an Embassy in Wellington and New Zealand has an Embassy in Buenos Aires with a resident NZTE regional Manager for the Argentine Republic, Paraguay and Uruguay.

Bienvenido a Nueva Zelanda to all Argentinian rugby visitors and especially to any who are also exporters!