The fact that New Zealanders continue to recognise the economic and cultural benefits of maintaining ties with Asia, as highlighted by the latest survey from the AsiaNZ Foundation, bodes well for our future says ExportNZ.
Executive Director of ExportNZ, Catherine Beard, says “It’s good to see New Zealanders so positive about Asia and our need to engage with the region to boost trade and personal ties. As Asia thrives, so do the opportunities for New Zealand business.
“Exports to China alone have increased 70% since 2009 to NZ$5.6 billion. With China set to become the world’s second biggest consumer market and India rivalling the bigger European markets by 2020, our engagement in the Asian region needs to keep up. This starts with education.
“It’s significant that over half of the respondents to the AisaNZ Foundation’s survey believed more needed to be done to help young people engage confidently with Asia, and more needed to be done to help New Zealanders better understand Asian cultures and traditions.
“ExportNZ would like to see more emphasis in secondary schools on teaching Asian languages and culture, to prepare the next generation of New Zealanders to take full advantage of what the region has to offer. Australia is making big investments in this area, and New Zealand needs to keep pace.”