EXPORT RECOVERY SERIES | VOICE FROM THE MARKET | ASIA
Asian consumers are “great fans of heroic New Zealand exporters” – position yourself in the right direction, and the current opportunities in this region are significant …
The Panelists in our eighth Export Recovery Panel on Asia all echoed the same theme – leverage off the enhanced trust brand New Zealand has in Asian markets, and build on that trust in how you deal with your partners in-market:
Our country’s core clean and green value is being further enhanced by the visibility the country is receiving on the competency of our C19 elimination.
Asian markets, specifically China and Japan, want more of what we are selling, but take time to understand what the individual market needs are now, then sell to those needs
Things didn’t grind to a halt in China – logistics slowed during peak of crisis, but now exports from New Zealand are back flowing well, especially over sea-freight – mainly in high quality primary industries (dairy, protein, honey, wellness, immunity). No one wins from C19, but for New Zealand, China and Australia account for almost 50% of our exports, and these two countries are better positioned for recovery than most.
A lot of our SME’s in tourism and education were not ‘upping their game’ in technology – which was the expectation of the Chinese market coming to this country. To align our premium positioning and pricing to this market, greater technology adoption is needed, and now is the time to implement. A simple example would be operators in these industries weaving Alipay and WeChat into their payment and comms systems.
It is basic, quality primary products we are seeing growth in – New Zealand Inc has an opportunity to rethink it’s poorly performing ‘value-add’ strategy – how should we add value to our food? How can we use science to drive our product’s core value, not through gimmicks and brands, but articulating the fundamental nutritional difference and benefits: i.e. in blackcurrants and honey
Is this the time to take your first step into China? Get some runs on the board by utilising Daigou channels, Aliexpress, JD.com – dip you toes in, don’t dive in head first. [For a new health product into China for example, a good first step could be by partnering with Daigou’s like New Zealand Health Group (NZHG) or Health Element to see if your brand has legs]
It’s essential to protect your IP in China, it will take about 9 months – resources to help available through NZTE. This can be done concurrently while you partner with Daigou in-market.
Upcoming digital trade initiatives will help in getting your export customers to pay quicker, and help ensure payment. Wide scale adoption of dIstributed technology/Blockchain will speed up the entire exporting process, providing greater trust and transparency.
If concerned about current or possible customers payment terms, credit insurance via the New Zealand Export Credit Office may be an option. They have stepped up their level of support for New Zealand exporters through this crisis – https://exportcredit.treasury.govt.nz/
Japan is the biggest net food & beverage importer in the world, and exports from New Zealand to Japan grew in the first 3 months of this year, mainly in this category. The tailwinds from the enhanced reputation New Zealand has currently, and increased demand for the type of quality products we sell, should see this trend continue.
Japanese companies were moving to digital platforms and systems digitisation – C19 is providing the catalyst to digitise Japan’s huge bureaucracies at pace. New Zealand’s tech companies that can assist with this transition have greater leverage/access than ever before with the high visibility and reputation of brand New Zealand – the Japanese love competency, and that is what we represent with the perception of our country’s response to the C19 crisis.