For more than a 100 years, New Zealand has had connections, some tenuous, with Asia, beginning with the gold miners from Southern China, in Otago (mid Nineteenth Century) and through NZ’s famous son, Rewi Alley and his involvement in China (1927- 1987). In recent years, however, there has been a huge upsurge in relations, both through trade and travel, with our neighbours in Asia and the Asia New Zealand Foundation has produced a fascinating and comprehensive survey on our relations, both good and not so good, with them.
A large part of this survey, ‘New Zealanders’ Perception of Asia and Asian people’, deals with the feelings of New Zealanders, both personal and as a group, about the East and there is a huge amount of evidence which could be really useful to those who wish to trade or simply visit Asia.
Many New Zealanders lack confidence in engaging with Asian people and this may mean they are missing out on prospects for trade until they can meet and learn some of the culture and protocol of buying and selling there.
The Foundation works with influential individuals and organisations in both New Zealand and Asia to produce school programmes, professional development programmes and many other possibilities. Statistics and details covered by the survey could be very useful for those who want to progress in their knowledge of the languages and many other aspects of these countries [from Malaysia to Korea].
In 2016, this survey was made by questioning 1000 New Zealanders on their feelings and involvement with Asian people and the amount of knowledge about them that they have gained over the years. This survey gives accurate figures on the above. Most of the Kiwis questioned think Asia is important to the country’s future and they agree that being aware of cultural and economic details can facilitate progress. (It should be noted that the survey was made before the election of Donald Trump, US president, who has voiced opposition to international trade agreements, e.g. the TPPA.)
For anyone who wishes to learn more about our neighbours in Asia, they will find this document of huge benefit for any future dealings both in trade and travel.
For Asia New Zealand’s webpage: click HERE
For a pdf of the full results of Asia New Zealand’s survey, click HERE.
For Asia New Foundation’s media release, click HERE