Today the Government has set the path for how to help New Zealand businesses create success internationally.
Named the Trade Agenda 2030, the Minister of Trade, Todd McClay, has laid out his vision for how the Government will support businesses as they negotiate trade rules and tariffs internationally, and look to take their New Zealand-based businesses global.
We’re pleased the Government has recognized the need to have a discussion on globalization and trade, as both have become more contentious in the current geo-politcal climate. Protectionism can be a thorn in the side of international business, so it’s good to see it now being openly discussed and analysed by some of our key traditional trading partners.
New Zealand businesses going global
Those New Zealand businesses that go global are so important to the health and prosperity of our country’s economic growth, and they need support. There is an urgent need for the Government to safeguard them, and help secure and sustain access to the overseas markets they operate in. It’s impressive to see the Government listening and now driving the conversation.
We’re also pleased to see a call for businesses to leverage the investment in unlimited fibre broadband (UFB) and cloud platforms to contribute to exports. One of the key things the Trade Agenda 2030 addresses is the need to hone in on the digital economy, and better understand and utilise the advantages it produces for businesses with their sights set off-shore.
The cloud can help
For Xero, our strategy is to work through our network of accountants and bookkeepers in every city and town of New Zealand to provide education and playbooks on traditional and digital exporting. Already 24% of Xero customers in New Zealand export with the support of our global platform showing that digital platforms are key to driving the export of services.
Cloud technology has reshaped trade over the last decade and as a result, we’re seeing the rise of truly global small businesses that have grown up without the need to operate within the confines of a single country’s borders. The recent Taniwha Dragon Summit in Hastings was a great example where Maori Businesses were introduced to the Alibaba platform as a way for food producers to connect with Asian Markets; as well as build valuable business connections with Asian business leaders.
Xero itself is an excellent example of a New Zealand-borne business which, through technology, created a unique global platform that is used by nearly a million subscribers in more than 180 countries.
Through the company’s success, many other New Zealand businesses have been able to expand globally by shifting their operations to the Xero platform. That includes a significant number of the 500+ app partners (remember, app creators can be small businesses too!) that successfully serve Xero’s small businesses across the world. The likes of Vend and, Spotlight Reporting are all examples of New Zealand businesses growing up in the digital economy.
As a small country with an agile mindset, the Trade Agenda 2030 supports the notion of being nimble and adjusting quickly to trends internationally that impact on our global success. In this respect, being small has its advantages.