Participants in the North Asia CAPE’s first Buyers’ Tour say the programme has helped open the doors to meaningful engagement and real business outcomes with important retailers in Japan and Korea.
At the end of 2018, with subsidy and organisational support from the North Asia CAPE, representatives from the Korean giant E-mart and AEON Co., Ltd., Japan’s largest retailer, visited New Zealand to meet local food manufacturers – particularly small and medium enterprises (SMEs) across New Zealand.
Why support a Buyers' Tour?
At its core, the purpose of the Buyers’ Tour is to link NZ companies directly with key buyers from large Japanese and Korean retailers in order to build trade relations. The tours provide an opportunity for NZ food manufacturers’ to better understand the key success factors in supplying products to the Japanese and Korean markets, and receive candid feedback from in-market experts.
By bringing together industry leaders with New Zealand businesses, the programme brings to life the North Asia CAPE’s aim to build strong and enduring economic and cultural relationships with key countries of North Asia.
During their five-day visit, the overseas buyers toured several factories as part of a NZ-wide roadshow aimed at forging links with local businesses seeking to internationalise in Korea and Japan. In addition to their time in Auckland, the buyers visited companies in Tauranga, New Plymouth, Napier and Christchurch. Participants also attended a mini-trade show designed to bring together New Zealand exporters with leading Japanese and Korean industry figures and their networks.
Glowing feedback, positive outcomes
If feedback from the New Zealand sellers is any indicator, the pilot Buyers’ Tour has set a high bar for subsequent tours in 2019. Participants offered glowing evaluations, hailing the mini-trade show as a “great learning curve, and the time and effort…by all concerned was fantastic”.
Others described how the programme “helped us engage with the Japanese market through getting a better understanding of the people and their culture and habits via questions they asked and information they wanted to know”.
The real impact of the Buyers’ Tour is already evident with one company revealing that deals potentially worth millions in NZ dollars are underway – a direct outcome of the programme’s aim to link New Zealand producers with outlets in Japan and Korea.
As the NZ seller commented, “Had we not attended [the Buyers’ Tour] we wouldn't have this opportunity.”
The Buyers' Tours are delivered by the North Asia CAPE in partnerships with NZ Roadshow.