London’s less of a magnet

London’s less of a magnet

There are great opportunities for business between the North East and New Zealand, as Peter Jackson discovers talking to Daniel Taylor.

Daniel Taylor is London based but encourages his countrymen and women to look
beyond London.

The trade commissioner UK and Ireland with New Zealand Trade and Enterprise, NZTE says: “We are seeing many more companies actively consider locations outside London and I think that’s a positive – London’s not always the answer.

We encourage companies to think about where their customer base is, how they are going to service that customer base and if it happens to be in the North East then it makes eminent sense to be physically located there.’’

Which is good news for the North East and Taylor has made a couple of trips to Newcastle to meet with various agencies.

A major role of NZTE in London is to support New Zealand businesses once they have made the decision to do business in the UK or Ireland, either through exporting or investment.

“Once they make the decision our intention, as the Government’s national business development agency, is to help those companies grow bigger, better and faster,’’ he says. It does this through market research and intelligence, forging connections and, of course, making sure people are aware of the advantages of trading with New Zealand.

Chief among these, he argues, is the ease of doing business over there. He explains: “New Zealand has very business friendly conditions, it’s very open as an economy.

“Another advantage from a UK perspective is that whereas New Zealand used to be seen as being the other side of the world, now it’s seen as the other side of the clock. It provides a location that enables 24-hour support and activity, so while we’re asleep here the team in New Zealand is able to do their work and you are getting 24-hour activity, which is a real positive.’’

He also points to a familiar legal, political and cultural environment. “We speak roughly the same language,’’ he adds. “New Zealand has a workforce that tends to have an international view. New Zealanders are great travellers and you’ll find there are a large number of New Zealanders who have spent some time living outside New Zealand and that provides a global view that enables rounded decisions to be made.’’

For ambitious exporting companies New Zealand can not only be an export market in its own right but also serve as a gateway to the enormous Australian and Asian Pacific markets. It has an extensive free trade agreement with China and perhaps the most comprehensive free trade agreement in the world with Australia and also has strong connections with North and South Asia.

Similarly, for any New Zealand company, the UK provides a conduit to Europe. “We see a lot of New Zealand companies that beachhead themselves in the UK and use that as a branching out point to Europe,’’ says Taylor.

Any North East company thinking of doing business in New Zealand or with New Zealand should contact NZTE as a first step. “We’d welcome the chance to have those conversations,’’ he says.

“We try to make it as easy as possible for companies to make an investment into New Zealand and we work hard to tie in with the other New Zealand government agencies to provide a one-stop-shop for investors and potential investors.

“I think there’s a real opportunity to do more around partnering with New Zealand companies and UK companies.”