INDEPENDENT NEWS

Minister Opens NZ Technology Centre At Phase Z.Ro

Published: Fri 13 Sep 2002 12:05 AM
Minister Opens New Zealand Technology Centre At Phase Z.Ro
Centre to serve as a base for New Zealand technology exporters to expand their reach in the Singapore and Asian markets
Singapore, 13 September 2002 – Minister for Trade Negotiations Jim Sutton officially opened Trade New Zealand’s “New Zealand Technology Centre” (NZTC) at the Phase Z.Ro Technopreneur Park in Singapore today. Mr Sutton was accompanied by Mr Raymond Lim, Singapore’s Minister of State for Foreign Affairs & Trade and Industry.
The NZTC, an initiative under the Trade New Zealand-run “beachheads programme”, enables New Zealand technology companies to access business development services while operating from a low-cost environment. Open to ‘committed and capable’ New Zealand exporters across a broad range of sectors including animation, software and electronics, the NZTC acts as a stepping stone to Singapore and the wider Asian markets.
The NZTC is a tangible development under the Singapore-New Zealand Closer Economic Partnership agreement inked approximately 18 months ago. Mr Sutton referred to the FTA and the similarity between Singapore and New Zealand at the opening.
“Like the Government of Singapore, the New Zealand Government is acutely aware that small countries can never be content with the status quo. We must constantly look for opportunities to do things differently. With this in mind, in addition to fostering innovation parks in New Zealand, we are now working to establish modest but effective marketing “beachheads” for New Zealand businesses seeking to develop new relationships in key markets,” Mr Sutton said.
Trade New Zealand has employed a business development manager to act as the “eyes and ears” of New Zealand companies in the technology sector, with the aim of ensuring that business leads that are developed by New Zealand companies do not become dormant.
Robert Skinner, Trade New Zealand Trade Commissioner to Singapore, said the project has the ability to add another dimension to how New Zealand companies can develop the market.
“Singapore is a trusted and mature market for New Zealand exporters. One of the next challenges for New Zealand companies is to expand their presence, either physically or virtually, and service their clients more efficiently. We believe this exciting initiative paves the way for companies to achieve both of these objectives while remaining cost-effective and practical.”
The NZTC is already assisting Synergy International, a successful New Zealand IT solutions company, and the tenants of Auckland University of Technology’s Tech Park.
Mr Sutton formally opened the NZTC by saying: “It is a mark of the sincerity with which we regard our Closer Economic Partnership ties with Singapore that we have chosen to set up our first such base, the New Zealand Technology Centre, here.”
Trade New Zealand is investigating similar facilities in the United States and UK.
ENDS

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