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Hopes for trade in the Year of the Dragon

Natasha Hill

Despite Hong Kong’s economy being impacted by Covid-19, New Zealand’s trade commissioner there says businesses are running as normal.

Public Interest Journalism funded through NZ On Air

Kiwa Whatarau (Ngāti Kahungunu, Ngāti Tamatera) has been New Zealand’s trade and enterprise commissioner in Hong Kong for the past four years.

Whatarau said the biggest challenge for New Zealand businesses was working with markets like China.

Countries like Vietnam and Indonesia were better suited to the large goods markets, he said.

The advanced but small Hong Kong was better suited to New Zealand business exporting their goods there.

“Firstly, the population here is about seven million people, which is somewhat the same as in New Zealand, which is completely opposite to India and China so, when you arrive here, you won’t drown in the Fragrant Harbour [the local name for Hong Kong].”

He said the main social media platforms in Hong Kong were Facebook, Twitter and WhatsApp and they were widely used.

In 2020, Whatarau told Te Ao Marama about the work he was doing to support international trade with Māori businesses.

“Māori representatives in the New Zealand trade and enterprise investment are working alongside 270 Māori businesses that sell their products all over the world.”

Hero Image: Kiwa Whatarau - Trade Commissioner to Hong Kong - video frame

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