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120 Japanese leaders coming to town to invest in aspiring NZ businesses

28 Apr 2017

An opportunity for Auckland and its ambitious businesses to forge closer economic ties with a major trading partners is soon coming to town.

A 120-strong delegation of Japanese business leaders from the Kansai Economic Federation is visiting Auckland from April 27 to May 1 to not only experience the final days of the World Masters Games, but also to make new business contacts.

Auckland’s economic growth agency, Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development (ATEED) the parent company of World Masters Games 2017, will host a large section of the high-powered delegation on April 30 – in conjunction with the Japan New Zealand Business Council.

The event will enable Auckland businesses to meet and network with executives of some of Japan’s leading companies, which include Obayashi Corporation, Iwatani Corporation, The Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ and Daikin Industries.

Ian Kennedy, chair of the Japan New Zealand Business Council, says this is a great opportunity to meet the leaders of Japan’s second largest economic region.

“There is a focus on sport in Japan, just as there is in New Zealand, and with the link to the World Masters Games 2017, there’s no better platform than using sport to build personal business relationships,’’ says Ian Kennedy, chair of the Japan New Zealand Business Council,” says Kennedy.

“Traditionally the trade relationship has been primary products exports from New Zealand and cars and electronics imports from Japan. We are now seeing the rise of creative, knowledge-intensive businesses in New Zealand as well and they too have the chance to explore possibilities with Japan.”

Kennedy says in today's times, the two countries have never been closer.

“Japanese companies have looked to their own market first and then exported, but in today’s global economy these companies, particularly in the finance sector, are looking for investment opportunities.”

ATEED will be in charge of presenting the Auckland growth story to the visiting delegation, and general manager for Business, Innovation and Skills, Patrick McVeigh says the city is now described as one of the most dynamic city economies in the world, with a vibrant innovation ecosystem.

“We have identified high-growth industry sectors such as technology, food and beverage, screen and creative, advanced materials and commercial services,” says McVeigh.

“Auckland is in a position to export more high-value goods and services, and with the economic transformation taking place there are plenty of investment opportunities in our region. Businesses are now seeing Auckland as a gateway to the Asia-Pacific market.”

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