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Monday, 30 January 2012

Doubling Exports: How Are We Doing? | Free Enterprise

Doubling Exports: How Are We Doing? | Free Enterprise

This blogpost by John Murphy on the US site Free Enterprise contains some astonishing statistics which I don't think we need doubt the veracity of. It is indeed challenging to us in New Zealand to ask how much our own exports have increased in the same period? I don't have an answer for that.

However I can say that our neighbour Australia, like the US and Canada, is our top trading partner. Exports and imports in the period ended June 2010 were $17,435,650 millions. It is also significant that of our top ten trading partners five of them: Australia, China, Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand are countries with which we have an FTA arrangement. Trade with these partners accounts for well over half of New Zealand's trade - about 64%.

The ASEAN countries are New Zealand's fourth largest export market after the APEC countries, the OECD and the EU.

Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Monday, 23 January 2012

Trade in fiction

This summer holiday I have had the pleasure of doing a little more reading than usual.   I was given a new New Zealand novel (2011) at Christmas called Wulf by Hamish Clayton and subsequently I have begun reading David Mitchell's 2010 novel The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet.

Both are historical novels - the former set in the early 1830s as the tangata whenua (Maori people) began to meet and interact with European visitors.   While the novel's central focus is the Maori chief Te Rauparaha,  it also explores the role the brig Elizabeth played in the massacre of Maori by Te Rauparaha and his followers on Banks Peninsula.   The raiding party were transported to the South Island in return for a load of flax - in other words trade was at the centre of the transaction. On p.94 we read a canny assessment by a Maori commentator: 'These spirits (Europeans) have hearts made of trade and iron.   For pigs' meat they'll pay tobacco, rum, and blankets.   For flax they'll pay muskets.  Trade with them and you'll become a great chief...'

The first part of  David Mitchell's novel is located on the 'island' of Dejima in the city of Nagasaki, Japan in 1799.   The raison d'etre for this artificial island and community is the trade  between the Dutch East Indies Company and the Japanese.   Once again trade is a central thread: 'Vorstenbosch unlocks his desk and takes out a bar of Japanese copper. 'The world's reddest, its richest in gold and, for a hundred years the bride for whom we Dutch have danced in Nagasaki.'' p.34.   The Company needs to increase its trade otherwise the settlement in Batavia will fail and likely will be taken over by Britain.  

Both novels give fascinating insights into the role played by trading activities - both historically as in these novels but also in our 21st century global environment when we reflect on the reasons why certain events have happened or why this or that international trade decision was taken.

Tuesday, 17 January 2012

Export people - key New Zealanders

Last year I posted about Bill Buckley - exporter and New Zealand Entrepreneur of the Year.   The New Year Honours List has also highlighted the importance of export people in our country and given them some recognition for the crucial role they play in the economy.

This year Howard Wright and Brendan Lindsay - both exporters - have been made members of the New Zealand Order of Merit.  Howard Wright's company Howard Wright Ltd  manufactures and exports medical equipment from New Plymouth, while Brendan Lindsay, co-founder and owner of Sistema Plastics uses robotic technology to manufacture plastics products in Auckland.   Congratulations to them both.

They are just two of the growing group of innovative, entrepreneurial and plain hard-working people who export from our country.  You can find others by searching in the New Zealand School of Export's catalogue at:

Brendan Lindsay - photo from: http://tvnz.co.nz/business-news/made-in-new-zealand-winning-formula-4232962
See also the DominionPost December 31, 2011 p.B4

Tuesday, 10 January 2012

New Zealand School of Export turns five!

On 10 January 2007 the School's ancestor Export Training Services, started operations on a very small scale in Queen Street, Palmerston North.   Out of the foundations put in place by Export Training Services arose the New Zealand School of Export.   The School was officially opened on December 7, 2007 by the Honourable Steve Maharey, MP for Palmerston North.  By then the School's operations had moved to its current premises at Aokautere Park, east of the City.
The flagship qualification offered by the School is the Diploma of International Trade and graduates of this course are currently working in companies in New Zealand and around the world.   In 2011 the Exporter Health Check was launched and has been very successfully used in two Taranaki companies.
While the economic downturn in New Zealand and global events have undoubtedly affected the School, it has cemented its place within export training in New Zealand.   Significantly the New Zealand School of Export remains the only New Zealand organisation to be accredited by IATTO - the International Association of Trade Training Organisations.
Congratulations to all staff, adjunct faculty, graduates and current students for their hard work and commitment over the last five years. Ad Multos Annos.

Message from the Director Dr Romuald Rudzki:
As we enter 2012, it is not only the 5th anniversary of the New Zealand School of Export but also - on 21st December 2012 - the Mayan prophecy for the end of time (the 13th buktun).  The first event is definitely happening, the second less definite, although both show a remarkable similarity in terms of the amount of time available to do things before the ‘Big Event’.  Whatever happens, remember the old saying ‘Nobody lay on their death-bed wishing they had spent more time at the office.’  Best Wishes for a Very Happy and Peaceful Year!