New Zealand's business engagement with Asia

The New Zealand Asia Institute (NZAI) examines engagement from a number of perspectives to build a comprehensive picture for policy advice, management advice, business education and research advancement.

New Zealand’s business engagement with Asia is only partially expressed in trade statistics. In a set of linked projects, the New Zealand Asia Institute examines engagement from a number of perspectives to build a comprehensive picture for policy advice, management advice, business education and research advancement. Some of the projects are organised jointly with other Institutes. The projects are:

  • Engaging with Asia: A study of leading NZ companies
    This project identifies characteristics of NZ company engagement with Asia (north-east, south-east, south and central), especially those which lead to more or less successful engagement, with a focus on: strategy and locational decisions, corporate governance and ownership, management control systems, and management and employee development. The study is interview-based, supported by published and non-published written material, statistics and secondary analysis. It looks at 50 leading NZ companies in food and food processing, “resources”, nutriceuticals, IT and software, machinery and equipment, logistics, and consulting services, which are important sectors for the New Zealand economy. Successful engagement is seen as the contribution of Asia-related business to company or group turnover and profits, and growth in Asia-related business.
  • Engaging with Asia: A study of growing SMEs
    This project complements the leading business project by focusing on smaller businesses (under 100 employees/$100m turnover), which numerically make up the vast majority of New Zealand businesses, but which often have difficulty engaging with overseas markets or value chain activities. The study is interview-based, but also draws on a large-scale international comparative survey, as well as other material. It focuses on entrepreneur/top team competences and business orientations, networks, competitive orientations and growth limitations, and organisational development. It looks at 50 businesses in food and food processing, nutriceuticals, IT and software, machinery and equipment, and creative media. Successful engagement is likewise seen as the contribution of Asia-related business to company or group turnover and profits, and growth in Asia-related business.
  • Māori business engagement with Asia
    Similar in concept to the leading business and growing SMEs projects, this research focuses on Māori tribal group businesses and is carried out in collaboration with the Mira Szászy Research Centre for Māori and Pacific Economic Development.