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Man on a mission: Auckland Mayor Len Brown
Trade mission opens doors for Auckland business
The first Auckland trade mission to Korea and Taiwan has let
both economies know that Auckland is well and truly open for
The Mayor is back in Auckland after leading top executives from
Auckland companies to the economic powerhouses of Seoul
and Taipei, and Auckland's partner cities of Busan and Pohang
in Korea and Taichung in Taiwan.
"This has been a positive mission," says Len Brown. "Our
delegates have made good connections with potential investors,
both for investing directly into Auckland and working on joint
"I have also had some very good discussions with the city
mayors and their top officials about key city infrastructure,
urban planning, public transport, waste management and
protecting both livability and the environment."
The 17 Auckland businesses represented on the mission came
from the ICT, animation and creative content, infrastructure,
investment and education sectors.
In a debrief session prior to departing Taipei, delegates were
adamant that the presence and advocacy of the Mayor, Councillor
Arthur Anae in Korea and Councillor George Wood in Taiwan
had been instrumental in opening doors to new opportunities
and gaining them meetings with high-level decision makers they
may not have had access to individually.
"I am also glad we could help announce the co-investment
partnership between the Auckland-based New Zealand Venture
Investment Fund and Taiwan's National Development Fund. It
seems to me that there is a good sync between the Auckland
and Taiwan economies in terms of focus and scale."
The Mayor says it was good to travel with Councillor George
Wood on the Taiwan leg of the mission, to see the mana he
had gained from developing the partner city relationship with
Taichung when he was the Mayor of North Shore City.
Cr Wood says this trip has reignited the close relationship with
"The warmth of the friendship that has evolved bodes well for
developing strong business and cultural ties between the two
cities. We can also learn a lot from the huge economic success
Taiwan has achieved. We have a solid platform to build on, and
the Mayor and the delegates received a huge reception from
all three cities we visited in Taiwan, which holds great promise
for the future."
The Mayor says it is vital that Auckland becomes an international
city, attracting foreign business and investment, exporting
ideas and high-value products, and forging global connections
to ensure its economic future.
"Like our mission to China, this trip underlined the importance
of our partner city relationships and how we can leverage
those relationships for our mutual benefit. Several times, the
mayors we visited picked up the phone to facilitate high-level
meetings for our delegates. In addition to shared business,
three partner cities are interested in pursuing cultural, artistic
and educational exchanges."
"The trip also underlined to me the effectiveness of formulating
robust plans for the future of cities and economies and fully
committing to delivering them. Everywhere we went we saw
this level of planning, and collaboration to deliver on those plans
from local and central government, academia, business and the
wider community. The success of this approach is clear."
The Mayor says visits to places like the Park Lane department
store in Taichung, an award-winning green redevelopment of
a parking building, and the biggest department store in the
world, Shinsegae, in Busan, brought home the importance of
attracting top retail brand names to draw domestic and foreign
"This mission was also a testament to the power of collaboration.
We saw the economic success of public and private sectors
working in tandem.
"We presented a strong front for Auckland and New Zealand
by working closely with MFAT and NZTE in Korea and the New
Zealand Commerce and Industry Office in Taiwan, and we also
saw collaboration within the Auckland contingent, with several
of our delegates now working on a joint project."
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