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“Land of the Kiwis”
“Not Only Tourist Paradise But Hi-Tech Society”
Korea Is NZ’s 2nd Largest Export Market in Asia
Amb. David Taylor of New Zealand

Called as "chisang nakwon (earthly paradise)" by its top envoy to Seoul during the special interview with The Seoul Times New Zealand now emerging as one of the most favored destinations for study or immigrations among South Koreans. Amb. David Taylor also emphasized that "Land of the Kiwis," or "Aeoteroa (Land of the Long White Cloud) by Maori terms is not merely a tourist paradise, but also a high-tech society worthy of Korea's attention. He spoke a lot about his country during the interview he had on the occasion of the Waitangi Day of New Zealand, which falls on Feb. 6, 2005. The following are the questions and answers.

Q1: Could you explain about the Waitangi Day of New Zealand? Why is your Waitangi Day important and meaningful to the c people and to New Zealand itself? How do New Zealand people usually observe the day?

A1: Waitangi Day is the New Zealand national day celebrated each year on February 6. Waitangi, New Zealand, is the birthplace of the nation. It is on the bay of islands within four hours' drive north of Auckland. It is a national reserve adjoining the town of Paihia and evokes the very essence and history of New Zealand's beginnings. The Treaty House, built for British Resident James Busby who was sent to New Zealand from Australia, still stands as a memorial and monument to the historic event of 1840. This is where the Treaty of Waitangi was signed between the British government and Maori tribal leaders.

New Zealand — South Island — Milford Sound

Waitangi Day thus marks the coming together in friendship of the Maori people and the white European settlers although it hasn't been an easy road from there.

Q2: How long have you been serving here in Seoul as top New Zealand envoy? What area of bilateral diplomatic relations will you focus on during your tenure in Seoul?

A2: I am here in Seoul as an ambassador of New Zealand since January 2003. We have a very strong and meaningful bilateral and diplomatic relation with the Republic of Korea. There are some meaningful committees between Seoul and Wellington, like Korea-New Zealand Business Council, Korea-New Zealand Association (KONZA), and New Zealand Alumni Association in Korea, by which Seoul and Wellington are continuing their strong relations.

Q3: How large is the trade volume between the Republic of Korea and New Zealand? What, do you think, could be done for increasing trade volume between the two countries?

New Zealand — Cook Islands — Aitutaki Lagoon

A3: Korea is the 6th largest trading partner of New Zealand. We have complementary economies — New Zealand exports primary products to Korea and buys Korea's industrial goods. In our open economy, Korean goods have been household names for at least a decade. On average each New Zealander buys $NZ 185 of Korean goods each year. Here in Korea New Zealand goods supply Korea's export industries and increasingly its consumer sector.

In statistical terms each Korean buys around $NZ 30 worth of New Zealand goods each year. I expect that New Zealand products such as meat, fruit, fish and deer velvet will become increasingly popular here as consumer expectations rise. Currently Korea is New Zealand's fifth largest export market with exports totaling us $1.171 billion (October 2004), and is in the process of overtaking Britain. It is also New Zealand's second largest market in Asia, quite a long way behind Japan, but growing strongly.

New Zealand has a larger trade surplus with Korea than with any other country. There has been a spectacular increase in the economic and social relationship between New Zealand and the republic of Korea in recent years. First in trade, then in tourism and immigration, Korea has rapidly advanced to become one of New Zealand's major partners. In most cases the growth has been faster than that with any other country

Q4:What are your plans to attract more South Korean corporations into your country, or vice versa?

Rotorua Bath House of New Zealand

A4: While we make great efforts to preserve our natural environment to cater for visitors, we also have a range of high-tech sectors. All of us have a better idea about the film "Lord of the Rings" which was a classic mix of New Zealand scenery with world-class animation technology developed in New Zealand. A New Zealand company is the source of 3D TV technology that is now being commercialized in partnership with LG-Phillips. From the 1970s onwards exports to Korea have been growing fast and during the 1990s it has been New Zealand's second largest market in Asia.

Korea has been a less important source of imports but nevertheless; over the postwar period as a whole it has been New Zealand's fifth largest source of imports from Pacific Asia. Currently Korea is New Zealand's fifth largest export market, and is in the process of overtaking Britain and also second largest market in Asia, quite a long way behind Japan, but growing strongly. It is clear that New Zealand's exports to Korea are primarily driven by the needs of Korean industry but at the same time there are continuing efforts by New Zealand officials to gain greater access for foodstuffs, especially meat.

Q5: What are some of the important economic issues between the two countries? What should be done to boost bilateral relations in general? What, do you think, you can do to further enhance bilateral ties?

Lake Wakatipu — Central Otago

A5: The new Korea-New Zealand Business Council's executive committee arrangements involve most of the major players in economic relations between our countries. That should inject new energy into our economic relations. Innovative economies place a high value on science and research. In New Zealand we have set out to boost our investment in this area, through increased government funding, new centers of research excellence, new research and development partnerships with the private sector, and improved tax treatment for research and development.

Korea also is investing heavily in these areas, and that there are many opportunities for our scientists and researchers to collaborate. Korea also is investing heavily in these areas, and that there are many opportunities for our scientists and researchers to collaborate. There has been a spectacular increase in the economic and social relationship between New Zealand and the republic of Korea in recent years.

First in trade, then in tourism and immigration, Korea has rapidly advanced to become one of New Zealand's major partners. In most cases the growth has been faster than that with any other country. The trade relationship would be healthier if Korean exporters could be persuaded to pay more attention to the New Zealand market and perhaps the growing number of Korean tourists and immigrants will facilitate that process.

Cultural events of English Language Village

Q6: What are the present state of people's exchanges and cultural exchanges between the two countries? Do you have any plans to introduce more New Zealand culture to Korean people or vice versa?

A6: The cultural, traditional, and social activities of New Zealand and South Korea are very rich and ancient. The education system is only part of a wider cultural and people-to-people relationship, though it is arguably the major part and the core from which other things are developed. There is a need to build a broad bridge between Korea and New Zealand by which linkages of many kinds — economic, political, educational and cultural — can be developed and mutually reinforce one another. Korea's economic relationship with New Zealand is of great importance to New Zealand and it is the sixth biggest export market for New Zealand; Korea sends 110,000 visitors to New Zealand every year; and the 15,000 Koreans who study in New Zealand each year are our second biggest group of international students, and there is a resident Korean community in New Zealand of over 25,000.

New Zealand — Cook Islands — Rarotonga

Q7: Have there been any important developments or events between Korea and your esteemed country in the last year in the economic, political, cultural, or other fields? If yes, please elaborate.

A7: Last year the honorable prime minister of New Zealand opened a Korean Film Festival in New Zealand. In October 2004, New Zealand Trade and Enterprise (NZTE). supported a New Zealand delegation's visit to Korea's Busan International Film Commission and Industry Showcase (BIFCOM), a trade fair associated with the Busan festival that featured two New Zealand films: In My Father's Den and Eating Sausage. The delegation made a presentation during BIFCOM to around 80 key film industry contacts. The delegation included representatives from Investment New Zealand, Film New Zealand, The Film Unit, Park Road Post, Digital Post, Beachfront Films New Zealand, and the Asia New Zealand Foundation and Korea Cinerama Trust.

Amb. David Taylor of New Zealand

Q8: Do you foresee any new developments this year including the possible visit of the chief executive of your country to South Korea? Are any economic or other delegations coming to Korea?

A8: The 17th APEC (Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation) is due to begin in Busan, South Korea on November 2005. As a member of APEC we want to enhance sustainable economic growth within the region, to seek co-prosperity among member economies, and finally, to become the primary regional vehicle for economic cooperation.

On Feb. 1, 2005 an inaugural festival of New Zealand films is planned for South Koreans. This year the festival is likely to further develop the promising relationship between the two countries' film industries and boost New Zealand's profile in South Korea. Around half a dozen New Zealand films will feature in the Seoul festival in October 2005. On the occasion of the Waitangi Day of New Zealand, Mrs. Theresa Taylor (wife of Amb. David Taylor) was present at English Language Village, Seoul for giving some presents to the students on Feb. 4, 2005.

Mrs. Theresa Taylor, wife of Amb. David Taylor

Q9: What are the major tourist destinations of your country? Please explain in detail?

A9: Where you want to go — Alpine grandeur, thermal wonderland or off the beaten track — we have all the beautiful sites in our country including world-class golf courses. New Zealand's awesome landscapes, lush forests, amazing wildlife and pleasant climate make it a haven for many outdoor activities, and a great place to unwind.

New Zealand society is diverse, sophisticated, and multicultural, and the honesty, friendliness, and openness of Kiwis will impress you. And the great advantage of New Zealand is that all of its diverse physical, cultural, and artistic landscapes are so close to each other. There are now around 25,000 Koreans in New Zealand. We value the contributions that Koreans are making to our development.

Mrs. Theresa Taylor is facing camera with other delegations of English Language Village in Seoul.

In the year to September 2004, South Korea was the fifth largest source of visitor spends in New Zealand, at US$498 million. This total is in line with the result for 2003. In September 2004 South Koreans had the second highest average spend per person of all the main visiting nationalities, spending an average of NZ$4,929 per person in the year ended September 2004 (down slightly from NZ$5,074 in the previous year). This large average spend has been driven by education visitors, who had an average spend per person of over US$13,000 in the year ended September 2004. New Zealand seeks migrants globally, including from Korea.

Q10: Could you please tell us in detail about your family? Are they all here in Korea? What do they do?

A10: I have been living here since last January 2003 with my wife and two daughters. I have visited many different parts of Korea, socializing with people and trying my best to promote tourism. There are some other aspects of the Korea-New Zealand relationship that I have to introduce — areas like defense, forestry, fishing, and sister cities — and I hope we could get an active, multi-faceted relationship, based on shared values and on growing people-to-people links within a very short time. That is the kind of paradise we are looking for in our links with Korea.






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