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  • How Superannuation Changes Improve Nz Pacific Relations

    17 July 2020

    How superannuation changes improve NZ-Pacific relations

    ​The New Zealand Government has announced changes to superannuation for residents of the Cook Islands, Niue and Tokelau. To qualify for critical pension payments, residents of these nations will no longer have to live in NZ for five years after the age of 50.While a small change in the grand scheme of things, this is an important part of the government's Pacific reset – and a big step towards better NZ-Pacific relations.Superannuation changes for the Cook Islands, Niue and TokelauUnder the previous rules (introduced in 2015), residents of these countries aged over 65 could qualify for NZ Superannuation or the Veteran's Pension only if:They had been a resident of (and present in) New Zealand for at least a decade since they turned 20.They had lived in New Zealand for at least five of those years after the age of 50.They had demonstrably made New Zealand their home on a permanent basis for this period.Under the change, this five-year stay when over 50 will no longer apply – an adjustment to come into effect in January 2019.Radio New Zealand reports that 170 residents of the Cook Islands, Niue and Tokelau would be impacted in the first year of the change, steadily increasing to approximately 200 people by the year 2023. In her announcement of the changes to over-50 requirements, Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni noted that governments of these Pacific nations had lobbied for the change over the course of several years."This Bill responds to concerns that the current five years over 50 requirement is a disincentive for Cook Islanders, Niueans and Tokelauans to remain in their employment and to participate in their home communities after having lived in New Zealand when younger," she noted."It is expected that removing the five years residence in New Zealand over the age of 50 requirements will help boost economic development and human resource capacity by allowing highly skilled people to continue contributing to their communities in these Pacific islands."The changes will additionally apply to New Zealanders who are also residents of the Cook Islands, Niue or Tokelau.Pacific superannuation changes in the context of the resetChanges to super in the Cook Islands, Niue and Tokelau have not happened in isolation. In his own media release on the issue, Minister for Foreign Affairs Winston Peters acknowledged New Zealand's close ties with these nations, and our own government's need to provide ongoing economic and social support wherever possible.This is very much of a piece with the recently announced Pacific reset, in which Peters and Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern expressed a desire to get a fresh, positive start in the way we work with our closest neighbours. By relaxing rules around superannuation, the government has given back to Pacific communities at a very necessary level.​At a business level, the retention of skilled individuals can foster more training opportunities for younger generations in these three nations. With only a few hundred people set to qualify, the change is also unlikely to have a widespread economic hit to the government's budget. Stronger communities and stronger skill resources are foundational aspects of a thriving economy, and New Zealand's change bodes well for further actions under the Pacific reset. To find out more about what's changing for our closest neighbours and enquire about your own Pacific experience, make sure to get in touch with the team at Tradestaff Global today. 

  • Will Climate Change Commitments Create New Job Opportunities

    05 June 2020

    Will climate change commitments create new job opportunities?

    ​"We can't afford it" – it's the classic excuse businesses use when they're asked why they don't spend more money on climate change initiatives. Nowadays, companies can't afford not to become sustainable.In fact, the Ministry for the Environment (MFE) predicts that climate change will cost the world up to 20 per cent of global GDP by 2100. Frequent natural disasters cause untold damage to organisations and their customers. The clue's in the name – sustainable business doesn't just mean sustainability for the environment, it also means continuity for the companies themselves. This is why several organisations and governments around the world have committed to reducing climate change.These commitments aren't just creating sustainability for the businesses themselves, however. It's also producing a significant number of jobs.​​What jobs could climate change commitments create?The green jobs market has boomed since governments around the world have made genuine commitments to climate change initiatives. Key industries include cleantech (the name for technology that attempts to reduce negative environmental effects, for example through green transportation), as well as sustainable agriculture and renewable energy.Various estimates have been made regarding how many job opportunities green initiatives will create. The most optimistic comes from the New Zealand Green Party, which believes its Green Jobs policy (focusing on housing, state-owned energy companies and incentivising green job creation in the private sector) has the potential to create 100,000 extra jobs, the New Zealand Herald reports. Meanwhile, a survey from Pure Advantage, the University of Auckland and Vivid Economics suggests that 30,000 jobs could be created in areas like geothermal and bioenergy, provided these industries have the proper investment. While many of these job opportunities are dependent on significant investment, it appears that in New Zealand at least, government and the business community are ready to make that commitment. In 2016, the government invested $31 million on research into understanding climate change and its impacts, according to the MFE, and the country has committed to reducing its emissions by 30 per cent below 2005 levels by 2030. The New Zealand government is providing a further $200 million for climate-related support, much of which will benefitPacific island countries, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs reports. Organisations doing business in this region, particularly those specialising in infrastructure and building, will benefit from climate change-related activities. ​​Who will these jobs attract?Many of these employment opportunities are in highly specialised and fast-moving occupations that require people with significant talent. Millennials in particular want to work for companies that make a positive impact on society and the environment, according to a Deloitte survey, but only a minority (47 per cent) believe corporations behave ethically (down from 65 per cent in 2017). Organisations that commit to environmentally-friendly projects stand in an excellent position to win the best talent, particularly younger employees who will have more longevity in the workforce.Many educational institutions in New Zealand have realised the potential of environmentally-friendly employment, and are running courses that cater to this. For example, Auckland University of Technology now runs a Bachelor of Business course in Sustainable Enterprise.Finding a job with Tradestaff GlobalTradestaff Global is proud to support businesses operating both in New Zealand and around the world. With so much funding for environmentally friendly infrastructure and building projects being announced, we expect to see a significant uptake in jobs around New Zealand and the Pacific. For more information, reach out to the team at Tradestaff Global today. 

  • 91ab4e78

    05 June 2020

    By the numbers: NZ’s biggest trade partners

    2017 saw New Zealand make its mark as one of the world's key export countries, creating a trade surplus of $2.37 billion over the course of the year, according to statistics from the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE).New Zealand's strong performance has continued into the new year, with figures from Trading Economics indicating that April 2018 saw a trade surplus of $263 million. This beat market expectations of a $200 million surplus.We've dived down into the figures from the MBIE to find out exactly where New Zealand businesses' most profitable trade partners lie.China represents one of our strongest trade partners.The Pacific, Australia and China: NZ's strongest trade partnershipsNew Zealand makes a trade surplus (whereby the amount we make from exports exceeds that of imports) in several countries, particularly in the Pacific but also China and Australia. In China, for example, we export $14.8 billion, and import $11.6 billion worth of goods, making a trade surplus of $3.2 billion. Trade with China has increased substantially since the signing of the New Zealand-China Free Trade Agreement in 2008, growing three-fold between 2007 and 2017, Statistics NZ reports.Meanwhile in Australia, the trade surplus stands at $1.4 billion. The balance of trade in many Pacific islands falls firmly in New Zealand's favour, with extremely high exports compared to imports in New Caledonia, Vanuatu, the Solomon Islands, the Cook Islands, Niue and Papua New Guinea.Pacific countries where trade is slightly more balanced but remains in New Zealand's favour include Samoa, Tonga and Fiji.The figures show the Pacific islands are an excellent place to do business, with already established trading networks that currently fall well in New Zealand's favour.High import partners: Europe, Japan and South-East AsiaThere are, however, still many countries where imports outweigh the amount of exports we send. The MBIE figures show this is particularly the case in Europe, where we export much less to countries such as Germany, Switzerland, France and Italy than we import from them. Another key area where we import more than we export is South East Asia, as well as Japan, South Korea and the US.Meanwhile South East Asia is a key exporter of goods to New Zealand.What goods is New Zealand trading?New Zealand's biggest import is, unsurprisingly, vehicles, parts and accessories, according to the MBIE. Our top six imports are as follows:Vehicles, parts and accessories.Mechanical machinery and equipment.Travel services.Electrical machinery.Transport services.Crude oil.In terms of the goods we export, products from our food and agriculture industry feature highly:Milk powder, butter and cheese.Travel services.Meat and edible offal.Logs, wood and wood articles.Transportation services.Fruit.The future of New Zealand tradeThe MBIE's statistics clearly indicate that New Zealand is a key player in the world trade market, with the Pacific, China and Australia excellent places for companies to do business in.What's more, recent political movements suggest we will be trading with even more countries very soon.For example, Winston Peters has spoken a lot in the past few months about a potential trade deal with Russia, while the EU has also given the green light for a trade deal with New Zealand, with talks currently taking place. ​All in all it's an exciting time for businesses with ties in foreign countries, and Tradestaff Global is proud to support New Zealand's Pacific relationships. We regularly supply staff to the region and help to fill skill shortages quickly and smoothly. Our experience means we're well-versed in these country's visas, taxation and legislation, and use our existing strong relationships to deliver exceptional service and talent to our clients. For more information on how we can help your New Zealand business, contact the team at Tradestaff Global today. 

  • What Is The Pacific Reset, And How Does It Impact Nz Trade

    30 April 2020

    What is the Pacific Reset, and how does it impact NZ trade?

    ​The New Zealand government has been incredibly active in the Pacific of late. We recently covered off a lot of aid that was sent out in the wake of natural disasters, but the relationship-building has been proactive as well as reactive.At a recent address by PNG Foreign Minister Rimbink Pato, NZ Minister for Foreign Affairs Winston Peters outlined the government's new vision for relations with our closest neighbours – a Pacific Reset. Essentially, it's a strategy aimed at confronting issues head-on and moving forward together towards a goal of shared economic prosperity.Which is all well and good – but what are the tangible impacts going to be for New Zealand and Pacific businesses?The Pacific Reset in detailThe March 28 statement from Mr Peters outlined the need for a reconfiguration of New Zealand's relationship with its Pacific neighbours. In particular, big motivators for change were:A renewed focus on Pacific security and economic wellbeing.Environment- and society-related issues that must be addressed.Increased focus on the Pacific as a key strategic asset in the eyes of "external parties"."New Zealand is a Pacific country, linked to the Pacific by history, geography, common interests, politics, and demographics," Peters added."All these dynamics, and a change to New Zealand's relative influence, motivate us to adopt a re-energised approach."​The reset is centred around five core principles: friendship, understanding, mutual benefit, collective ambition and sustainability. Essentially, it is the Labour-NZ First Government's statement of goodwill in how it deals with Pacific nations and helps to bring them further into the developed world. Engagement, cooperation and listening were key elements of Ardern and Peter's trip to the Pacific in March, as noted by Stuff's Henry Cooke.At its core, the Pacific Reset is a peace offering – a statement that the government of New Zealand is here to listen and to help elevate its closest neighbours.Impacts of the Pacific Reset on New Zealand trade and businessIn terms of concrete projects that form part of the Pacific Reset, the primary focus has been on aid. Assistance in recovery from Cyclone Gita has been supplemented with some infrastructure announcements (largely roads), and a reworking of pension rules to allow many Pacific residents to reap the benefits of New Zealand Superannuation. In the short-term, this may increase job opportunities for those looking at contract work in the Pacific, especially in the construction or logistics sectors. Every individual infrastructure project creates a massive number of job for both Pacific and New Zealand residents, including massive up-skilling and training opportunities.There are also one-off collaborative efforts, like New Zealand's assistance in PNG as the country gears up to host APEC."We are working in partnership with PNG to provide a range of assistance, including for security, police training, and protocol," Mr Peters told the New Zealand Institute of International Affairs.​Additionally, the NZ Government recently announced the secondment of New Zealand Electoral Commission official Karyl Winter to Fiji, ahead of its 2018 elections. Accompanied by 15,000 voting screens to uphold the electoral system, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade explicitly tied this gesture to Pacific Reset relations.At its core, the Pacific Reset is about a fresh start and new growth opportunities. This means new business ventures, new infrastructure projects and new jobs created right across the Pacific. It's a long-term, wide-ranging commitment that could result in your next Pacific experience. To find out more about current job opportunities in the Pacific, get in touch with the team at Tradestaff Global today. 

  • Whats On The Horizon For One Belt One Road And New Zealand  676 6061188 0 14102456 1000

    10 April 2020

    How does China’s One Belt, One Road impact New Zealand?

    ​In the last 40 years, China has taken massive strides to engage with the rest of the world. The post-Mao era has been characterised by steady construction of trade agreements, cultural proliferation and a much greater willingness to open the nation to all others.The latest step on this path is the One Belt, One Road (OBOR) initiative. A landmark strategy masterminded by President Xi Jinping, it could have massive ramifications for global trade – and that includes New Zealand.What is One Belt, One Road?At its core, OBOR is a plan to create a rail, road and utility great that spans multiple continents and facilitates global economic cooperation at a scale we simply haven't seen before. There are two primary elements to OBOR: the Silk Road Economic Belt, and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road.There are two primary elements to OBOR: the Silk Road Economic Belt, and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road.The Silk Road Economic Belt would be a multi-pronged infrastructure route beginning in China that connects the Mediterranean Sea and the Indian Ocean, as well as the Persian Gulf. It would stretch as far as Belgium, Poland and Italy, with links all the way through to mainland China.Meanwhile, the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road would begin in the northern reaches of the Mediterranean and expand all the way to the edge of the Pacific, with links to Kenya, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. In short, Jinping's plan would bring more than 60 nations across the globe together as part of a unified trade network.But how does a strategy that primarily focuses on Asia, Africa and Europe impact trade relations and infrastructure in New Zealand?The impact of One Belt, One Road on New ZealandLocally, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT) has already signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Chinese government on the OBOR initiative. The document details four key focal points for governmental cooperation:Ongoing, high-level dialogue on each other's policies that may impact trade.Further trade cooperation, working to meet goals of $30 billion in China-NZ two-way trade by 2020.Promote cultural exchange.Achieve common development through multilateral platforms like the East Asia Summit, Pacific Islands Forum and the United Nations.The MoA also details specific industries that both countries can work together on as OBOR develops, including agriculture, clean energy, manufacturing, infrastructure, information technology and public financial management.Putting New Zealand's best foot forwardEssentially, the New Zealand Government has already shown strong support for OBOR and has agreed with China to continue ever-growing relations on a huge number of policy areas. At a local level, this is less likely to mean big infrastructure projects than it is global demand for New Zealand's renowned innovation.Speaking to the Belt and Road Forum late last year, NZ China Council Executive Director Stephen Jacobi remarked that OBOR's benefits for New Zealand will focus on "soft infrastructure". He believes that we can offer China critical resources and skills that can facilitate trade agreements, social or cultural exchange and supply chain connectivity.This could present massive opportunities for local businesses that have made great strides these fields, developing tech or skill sets that can forge trade relationships between China and the rest of the world as the Silk Roads spread.Jacobi did warn that we could over-value the merits of participating in the OBOR strategy, but the pipeline growth suggests that there will be opportunities regardless. We may not see huge highways built in our backyard, but by putting our best foot forward, we could find ourselves playing a critical role in the rollout of one of the biggest globalisation projects in history.

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    10 April 2020

    Where has New Zealand’s Pacific aid gone in 2018?

    ​​New Zealand has trade partnerships all over the globe, but it is those with our closest neighbours in the Pacific that are perhaps most important. Every year, some 60 per cent of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade's (MFAT) global aid payments go to Pacific nations, helping them with everything from disaster recovery to increasing consumer expenditure.This year, we have already seen significant levels of increased funding to our neighbours, notably on Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern's recent Pacific Mission. But exactly how much has been allocated, and what is it going towards?New Zealand aid to SamoaCyclone Gita has ravaged many Pacific nations in recent weeks, with the New Zealand government quickly rising to the occasion. In a March 5 media release, Ardern outlined $3 million of funding that would help Samoa deal with the destruction Gita has caused.Funding will go towards recovery and cleanup of local businesses and communities, as well as the construction of new buildings that are more resilient to natural disasters. Under a separate announcement, $6.5 million will also go to the Samoa Private Sector Development Programme, aiming to get more women and young people involved in the nation's business operations.New Zealand aid to TongaAs Ardern noted in a March 7 release, Cyclone Gita ravaged nearly 2,000 homes across Tonga, with infrastructural damage extremely widespread."Many communities are still without power and schools are without essential materials," she noted. "It is a huge burden on so many families in Tonga and we are helping them recover."To that end, the New Zealand Government will provide $10 million of aid to the Pacific nation. This will be used to:Facilitate continued learning for students at 19 primary and ten secondary schools that suffered damage.Restoring Tonga's electricity network.Providing "materials and assistance" to get communities up and running.This will be a joint project between both MFAT and the Ministry of Education.​​​​​New Zealand assistance to NiueWhile the funding for Samoa and Tonga was allocated as a reactive measure to Cyclone Gita, the New Zealand Government is also allocating resources as a proactive measure to mitigate the risk of natural disasters. On March 6, Ardern announced a variety of projects that would help Niue become more resilient in the face of such threats. This includes:$750,000 for road and water infrastructure works to be completed before tourist season.Assessment of Niue's long-term water network capabilities.$5 million (on top of an existing $5 million) to develop solar energy capabilities for renewable energy targets of 80 per cent by 2025.As Niue grows in popularity, this kind of assistance is essential for dealing with increased strains on critical infrastructure. Additionally, Ardern states that the aid package will save the Niue Government up to $1 million, which can be reallocated to health and education services.​​​​​New Zealand assistance to Papua New GuineaFinally, a March 7 release from Winston Peters outlines aid that New Zealand is providing to Papua New Guinea in the wake of their recent magnitude 7.5 earthquake. An RNZAF C-130 Hercules has been dispatched, delivering medical supplies and essentials for those affected. Staff will continue working with local authorities to provide relief wherever possible.​​​​​Building stronger relationships across the PacificAs Prime Minister Ardern continues her Pacific Mission, one thing becomes clear: New Zealand's relationships with neighbouring Pacific nations are only growing stronger. By facilitating more resilient infrastructure and more active business operators, we help to build better trade partnerships – not just for NZ and the aid recipients, but also for those nations as they stand tall on the global stage.To find out more about business growth across the Pacific, make sure to get in touch with the team at Tradestaff Global.​​

  • Will Climate Change Commitments Create New Job Opportunities

    12 February 2020

    Successful support: A year of growth for the NZ Pacific Business Council

    ​​Everyone needs a support network – even if you're the biggest name in New Zealand business. As the representative body for around 80 members, mostly major players in local and global infrastructure, the New Zealand Pacific Business Council (NZPBC) plays an important role in providing this network. We spoke to the Council's chair, Devin Brown, about their productive 2017 and some interesting goals for the year ahead. Building pillars for Pacific growthThe bulk of the NZPBC's work is in facilitating growth for its members, linking them with projects in Pacific nations that can see them expand operations. These are often funded by the World Bank or Asian Development Bank, and are large-scale developments focused on the road, rail and energy."We leverage our networks to get businesses to access to expertise and experience that can help them get tenders, deal with overseas business challenges or simply find a better way of doing things," Devin notes."For example – we have a lot of contacts in government agencies like the NZTE and MFAT, not to mention on the ground in a pretty large number of Pacific nations. It means our members can get high-level advice or network with the right people to find new projects that they might not otherwise be able to secure."But of course, networks are never static. The NZPBC is constantly growing in scope, identifying growth prospects for its members and establishing new relationships. In 2017, this came in the form of a business delegation to the Solomon Islands. ​​"This was really successful in four main areas: political insight, exposure to local companies, defining the infrastructure opportunity pipeline and enabling bilateral relationships for New Zealand businesses in the future. We sent 16 people over, including our Deputy Chair Paul Pledge and Grahame Solloway from the NZTE, and it was a resounding success."With more expeditions on the way for 2018, the NZPBC has a clear understanding of the role it can play in building these networks. Devin is particularly impressed with the work his executives are willing to do in their free time – working for the NZPBC is a voluntary task.Constitution and change on the agendaThe 2017 Annual General Meeting was a landmark moment for the NZPBC, as Devin explains."We actually ratified our constitution at the AGM last year, which was a huge step for our organisation. While it's essentially just a piece of paper, it gives us a really strong backbone and ensures good governance in everything we do moving forward."One of the first steps for the organisation under its new constitution is changing how it communicates. With strong financial reserves after 2017 activities, the NZPBC is in a good position to allocate funding to some of its internal processes, which will in turn benefit members.​​"We're putting a lot of effort into the digitisation of our communications," Devin notes. "This will let members get in touch with government representatives of experienced businesses much faster, strengthening those support networks and letting relationships grow every day."Devin believes this kind of flexibility and breadth of support is critical for any business that wants to operate in the Pacific."Working in the Pacific, you're never dealing with one country. Every nation is so complex and independent, presenting its own unique set of challenges for those doing business there. You need a centralised phone book of people you can call for advice or advocacy, and that's exactly what the NZPBC is here for.""Our executive is fantastic, our members are thriving and we're only growing stronger. A lot of the time, businesses won't get the results they need if they go it alone – you need that network to succeed."​​

  • An Experts View On Renewable Energy Storage In The Pacific

    15 January 2020

    An expert’s view on renewable energy storage in the Pacific

    ​How will Pacific nations meet their renewable energy targets? Most countries in the region aim to have 50 per cent of their energy coming from renewable sources by 2020, but a longer-term view casts some doubt on the systems many organisations are implementing.At the core of this is reliance on Lithium-ion battery storage, which may not have the best long-term benefits for Pacific nations. We spoke to Peter McGill, General Manager of ECOLight, for more information on renewable energy in the Pacific.Why the Pacific needs better energy storage"The push towards renewable energy targets has meant, for the most part, one thing: solar," Peter notes,"Over the last two or three years, demand for solar arrays in the Pacific has skyrocketed, with a lot of funding coming from aid organisations across Australia and New Zealand."While this is excellent, Peter notes that issues arise when solar energy systems are used in conjunction with existing diesel-based infrastructure."Solar is good, but it's intermittent – every time a cloud passes overhead, your generation dips and you switch to a spinning reserve of diesel. It means you end up with really uneven voltage and frequency in your power."By implementing better energy storage systems, Pacific nations can establish that stability and move closer to their targets. However, the kind of storage that countries should use is a point of contention.The problem with Lithium-ion Lithium-ion batteries are the most popular method of renewable energy storage across Pacific nations. But as Peter notes, they may not be the most efficient. "Lithium-ion batteries are essentially the same as what you get in cellphones, which means they have some of the same problems. One of these is the depth of discharge – the more you fully charge and fully empty a Lithium-ion battery, the shorter the total battery life becomes.""You also run into long-term problems with warranties, which will typically run from seven to 10 years. However, these batteries have big brand associations, and are more of a household name – so they have the biggest market penetration across Pacific nations."Going with the redox flow for renewable storageFor a longer-term view, he believes vanadium redox flow battery storage is the way to go. This is a kind of rechargeable battery that runs on vanadium (an electrolyte), using fluid rather than cells to store energy. While they have a higher initial capital outlay to install, Peter believes they are the future of renewable energy storage. "With redox flow battery storage, you have a much better depth of discharge – a battery can be reused as many times as you need without total life decreasing. You also typically get a 25-year warranty – three times as long as some Lithium-ion products.""Best of all, redox flow battery storage can actually control the power grid. It can charge and discharge as required, turn generators on when needed, and replace the diesel spinning reserves, putting any surplus energy directly into storage. This quite literally smoothes out consistency issues in a lot of Pacific power grids."The other big benefit Peter notes is portability. With minimal infrastructure in many remote areas of the Pacific, it can be difficult to set up renewable power storage. He works with redT, who produce modular redox flow batteries that can be transported and set up in even the most remote location. Many Pacific nations are leading the way in renewable energy, pushing closer and closer to long-term targets. By reviewing existing battery systems ad their long-term workability, they can go even further.

  • What Is On The Horizon For The New Caledonian Economy  676 6059326 0 14113749 1000

    12 December 2019

    Looking inside New Caledonia’s era of economic change

    ​New Caledonia is a unique jewel in the Pacific crown. Its triple identity (French, European and Pacific) means it has trade access to the coveted EU markets, as well as working regularly with the Australian and NZ governments. As the third-largest Pacific nation by GDP per capita (behind Australia and New Zealand), it is a strong trade partner for many nations across the globe.However, for the average New Zealand business or expat worker, it might not be the first country you think of for your next opportunity. We spoke with Yves Lafoy from the New Caledonian Delegation to New Zealand for more information on the business landscape in Noumea and beyond.Building trade between New Caledonia and New ZealandNC and NZ have had a fruitful trade relationship, albeit one weighted in NZ's favour. Yves notes that in 2016, NZ supplied some $90m of exports to NC, with $3.4m coming back the other way. Exports to the Pacific nation from NZ consisted primarily of meat and dairy, with real estate investments and tourism also strong-performing commodities.In September 2016, the two nations signed the NZ-NC Joint Co-operation Plan, to build relationships in more areas from education and health to research, innovation and sustainable development.Looking forward, Yves believes this deal will play a crucial role in New Caledonia's growing role on the world stage."The implementation of the NC-NZ Joint Cooperation Plan will contribute to strengthening bilateral trade relations, by facilitating opportunities for work and investment in the two countries," he notes. However, anyone looking to do business in New Caledonia needs to take into account a few more factors.The economic outlook for New CaledoniaMoving beyond the nickel industryCore to New Caledonia's economy are its nickel exports. They are the 5th largest nickel producer in the world, and the metal comprised an immense 90 per cent of all exports in 2015. But despite holding 25 per cent of the world's nickel deposits, declining prices have necessitated rapid action on diversifying the NC economy."In 2007 a tonne of nickel was worth USD$37,000, compared to less than $10,000 in 2017," Yves states. "To compensate for the lack of revenue traditionally generated by nickel ore exploitation, in October 2016 the Government established an "export support policy" aimed at reducing the trade deficit."In 2018 and beyond, Yves believes this policy will break down trade barriers and develop more competitive industries outside the nickel sector. Currently, New Caledonia's alternative industries for growth are construction, transport and tourism.Self-determination and Pacific tradeNew Caledonia also signed on to thePacific Islands Forum in 2016 – a move which Yves thinks will improve the nation's standing further. However, the exact level of growth and types of trade to be fostered remain unclear, until the self-determination referendum takes place.This will happen between May and November 2018, with New Caledonian residents voting on the level of autonomy they want from France. Options on the table range from full sovereignty with no preferential ties to France, all the way to retaining New Caledonia's status as asui-generis(unique) entity under France's dominion.Creating wealth at a local levelThe final large-scale change to impact New Caledonia's trade ties is the Consumption Tax, which replaces import duties and is generally a more secure and economically neutral measure. Introduced in April 2017, Yves notes that this "will, when fully implemented, directly contribute to New Caledonia's economic wealth and impact its bilateral and regional ties". Building better business in New CaledoniaIt is a period of uncertainty and change for New Caledonia, but with strong growth prospects on the horizon. The strength of its industrial facilities and unique political standing mean New Caledonia is well-positioned as a trade partner, providing a stable economic environment and well-developed infrastructure.In short, New Caledonia is an excellent prospect for those looking at business or expat work opportunities across the Pacific. If you want to learn more about New Caledonian opportunities or trade, speak to the team at Tradestaff Global.

  • What Kind Of Changes Has He 2017 Pif Introduced  676 6058611 0 14112840 1000

    29 November 2019

    What was on the agenda at the 2017 Pacific Islands Forum?

    he Pacific Islands Forum (PIF) is one of the biggest events of the year for those living in the Pacific. Member countries include Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, Samoa and Papua New Guinea, all the way down to small nations like the Federated States of Micronesia.Once a year, delegates from each nation meet at the PIF to table agreements and focal points for the short- and the long-term. With the 2017 PIF held in Apia at the beginning of September, it's time to go over some of the big issues and takeaways from the forum's agenda for everyone in the Pacific.Building a regional agendaThe Framework for Pacific Regionalism (FPR) was a big focus at the 2017 Pacific Islands Forum, with a particular focus on policy development. This promotes shared stewardship of the Pacific Ocean under The Blue Pacific system, wherein countries collaborate with one another and the private sector to create legislation that helps all nations grow. Essentially, it is a push towards having a greater Pacific identity – all party nations are part of something bigger than themselves, trading with one another constantly. By focusing on the good of a collective group of nations when developing policy, everyone can benefit.Strengthening of responses to ocean issues Ocean-related issues are not restricted to one nation or one industry – they are cross-platform struggles in the truest sense. At the 2017 PIF, Pacific leaders reaffirmed their support for addressing this by giving the Office of the Pacific Ocean Commissioner greater powers. Specifically, there was a push for the Office to begin negotiations with the United Nations on a new agreement that would sustain biodiversity in parts of the ocean that are beyond a single nation's jurisdiction. While this is unlikely to have tangible impacts in the near future for those looking at working in the Pacific, it's the kind of framework that ensures processes are in place should problems arise.More action on sustainability around plasticThe push against plastic is happening worldwide and was high on the PIF agenda. This is crucial as any plastic waste from Pacific nations can pose an immediate maritime and environmental threat, especially in nations with a high volume of tourist traffic. To this end, Pacific leaders agreed at the 2017 PIF to accelerate legislation that would prohibit single-use plastic bags, as well as packaging made of plastic or styrofoam. This follows countries as widespread as Rwanda, China, Bangladesh and (in some industries) France.  Increased support for fisheriesMany parts of the Pacific rely on fishing trade to support economic growth, but the 2017 PIF saw the acknowledgment of disparity between regional and national policies on the sector. In particular, Pacific nations agreed to push for synthesised approaches to monitoring and regulation of the fishing industry, to minimise illegal or unreported activity. Some nations have opted for measures that favour their own sovereignty, which has been pushed back on in favour of supporting all nations in establishing sustainable fishing practices. New membersWhile there are dozens of nations present at the PIF, not every part of the Pacific is represented. At the 2017 forum, leaders recognised the work done by French Polynesia to achieve member status, which should be formalised in the near future. This could bring its objectives in line with the bulk of what leaders agreed upon at the forum. Building a stronger future for the PacificThis is just the beginning of what the 2017 PIF covered. Climate change objectives, PACER Plus acknowledgements and condemnation of security threats were all crucial steps taken by members nations throughout the week-long meeting. Much of this will influence the way expat employees work and live in the Pacific – staying on top of these developments will give everyone a better understanding of the Pacific experience.