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Tuesday, 29 November 2011

IATTO Forum Chengdu, China 2011 - more

 Pandas at Chengdu – Photo by Dr Romuald Rudzki November 5, 2011.  A visit to the Pandas at the Panda Breeding Center was a lighter but enjoyable moment for participants in the IATTO Forum in Chengdu, China.
The Forum was very successful and the Chinese hosts at the Nordic International Management Institute ensured that the event was enjoyed by all (including the five banquet meals and displays of dancing).
Dr Rudzki found the programme very stimulating and when pressed for a highlight opted for the paper by Anu-Mall Naarits of the Estonian Marketing Institute entitled How to revolutionize exports? The case of Estonia.
The changes made in Estonia included a new programme with a 12 month long export training – the first three months being intensive.   

The key success factors for the programme were:

·         Media support for the programme
·         Passionate participants: companies, candidates, mentors, providers, ITM, & Enterprise Estonia
·         Speed of recruitment
·         Sense of competition
·         Used innovative recruitment strategy which set high expectations and used innovative training methods

The paper presented by Dr Rudzki at the Forum and written by him with Graeme Siddle is available in pdf format from the New Zealand School of Export website at: http://www.export.ac.nz/publications.html  

A brief report with photos can also be found on the IATTO website at http://www.iatto.org/Default.aspx?ext=1&objectID=85

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Koha - intellectual property

Koha is the name of the open-source library software developed by the Horowhenua Library Trust in Levin New Zealand.   It was given the name 'koha' because it was intended to be a 'gift' to any library or organisation that wanted to use it.  Koha is the Maori word for gift, donation or parting message.   This word is in common usage in New Zealand by both Maori and Pakeha and often it is used when we want to give a donation to help  fund an event being attended by the giver.  It is also used when staying on a marae or meeting-place to fund the expenses that have been incurred in the visit.
The essence of the word is that it is a gift - freely given and that is why it was chosen and used and also why it was not protected as a trademark.   The software has been exported and  is now used around the world.   In particular it has enabled libraries in developing countries to automate their collections and provide a better service to their people without the huge expense of other ILSs.
Now a US company Liblime has applied to register the word KOHA for computer software.  The Horowhenua Library Trust and other libraries like the New Zealand School of Export Library who use Koha face a battle to oppose this application.
There is a guest post on the Patentbuff blog which you can read here: http://www.patentbuff.com/2011/11/guest-post-how-koha-trade-mark-dispute.html  in which it is stated quite clearly that because the Horowhenua Library Trust has prior use of the trade mark KOHA in New Zealand , there is a good chance the Library Trust could successfully oppose the application.
You can also read Librarian Joann Ransom's plea for help here:  http://koha-community.org/plea-horowhenua-library-trust/
This is a classic case of Maori words being used in a way which is completely against the spirit or wairua of the word.   Of course it may also be regarded as a case of the ignorant exporter unwittingly giving away intellectual property because they haven't done their homework.
Let's hope that Liblime will try to understand this situation and like the American company which tried to market a beer called 'Maori King' will withdraw the application.   Colorado Brewery Funkwerks changed the name when they learned of the significance of their chosen name and the fact that there was indeed a Maori King.

Gilbert W. Ullrich - exporter

This year one of New Zealand’s premier exporting companies Ullrich Aluminium celebrates its 50th anniversary.   The company operates 43 distribution centres across New Zealand and Australia and exports to 23 South Pacific island nations.  It has two aluminium extrusion plants – one if Hamilton and the other in the Hunter Valley, Australia, as well as a small foundry in Dunedin.
The company is lead by CEO Gilbert Ullrich who believes that we live in an age of aluminium. Mr Ullrich has been an outstanding export leader.   He was a founder member of the Export Institute of New Zealand and participated widely in their activities – for example in their event programme for 1997 where he spoke on  The $100,000,000 issue.
He is widely regarded as a New Zealand business leader and in 2007 Gilbert Ullrich was listed as an “influencer” by Unlimited Magazine.  As far back as 1988, business writers were both writing about Gilbert Ullrich and his company and consulting him on the export trade and the economy.   For example Tom Hyde wrote an article in Metro August 1988 entitled The exporters: secrets of the new order which profiled Gilbert Ullrich and others.
One of his outstanding contributions has been to encourage international trade between New Zealand and the South Pacific.   He and his company have planned and supported trade missions to Pacific countries on a regular basis – this year visiting Vanuatu and the Solomon Islands.
He is the chairman of the NZ Pacific Business Council and his Annual Report can be read at: http://www.spasifikmag.com/nzpacificbusiness/  This gives an excellent summary of the kinds of trade activities he fosters.
This year he was appointed a member of the new Business Advisory Panel for the Auckland Council alongwith representatives of other export companies and business organisations.
 In acknowledging the company’s 50 years of success, he pays tribute to Ullrich’s 700 employees and mentions in particular the specialised export department which features multi-lingual staff. 

  • Dominion October 29, 2011 p.B1
  • Index New Zealand search (National Library of New Zealand) retrieved 22 November 2011
  • http//:www.ullrich.co.nz             

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Russia is (Just About) in the WTO

International Economic Law and Policy Blog: Russia is (Just About) in the WTO

The above post from the IELP blog highlights Russia's bid for membership of the WTO. It is worth remembering that countries such as New Zealand, Australia and Canada having all been members since 1995. New Zealand has embarked on negotiations for a free trade agreement with Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan and it will be interesting to see what effect Russia's membership of the WTO has on them. An update on those negotiations can be found at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade website: http://www.mfat.govt.nz/Trade-and-Economic-Relations/2-Trade-Relationships-and-Agreements/Russia-Belarus-Kazakhstan/index.php

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Manawatu Gorge Landslip - Impact on Exporters

Since August business firms and other travellers have been inconvenienced by a huge landslip in the Manawatu Gorge near Palmerston North.   Logistics and transport operators have been particularly hard hit, especially those taking goods for export through to the Port of Napier.   An economic report last month showed that closures of the gorge since August had cost the region more than $2 million.
Vision Manawatu, the region's economic development agency, has said that those who use the gorge had suffered to the tune of about $62,000 a day.   The report was based on 500 trucks and 6300 other vehicles using the gorge each day.
It calculated lost productivity due to the additional 13 to 20 minutes of travel around the gorge via the Pahiatua Track or Saddle Rd, as well as extra fuel costs and expenses associated with drivers being on the road longer.

Although not visible in the photograph, the Gorge has the railway line to the East Coast on the other side above the river.   Fortunately this event has not affected the milk trains from Hawkes Bay to plants in Taranaki.

Photo courtesy of Nereda Corbett.

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

IATTO Forum Chengdu, China 2011 - a great success

This is a picture of the IATTO statue which was unveiled at the Nordic Institute of Management in Chengdu, China during the recent Forum.

You can read more about the Forum at: http://iatto.org/default.aspx?pageid=292&siteid=1