Activities planned by NZEBC in 2021 and Beyond by Gianfranco Ugazzi

The Italian Chamber is part of the New Zealand European Business Council (NZEBC). NZEBC is the organization whose main mission is to promote the trade and business activities between New Zealand and the European countries through various activities and at different levels. The members are divided into two categories: Full members and Associated members. In the first category mainly Chambers of Commerce, Business councils and Embassies. In the second category mainly Honorary consuls and Universities. ICCNZ has been a Full member of the organization since NZEBC’s incorporation (2005) and a member of the Chamber has served in the Council since its inception.

Each European country, of course, promote its own business and trade with NZ but an entity promoting the trade and business between NZ and Europe, as an umbrella entity like NZEBC, should create added value also for each single stakeholder or member.

The integration of the economies between the European countries is so advanced that is difficult to define the nationality of a product, particularly for high technological products. To quote an example, Lamborghini is qualified as an Italian “Brand” and product, but probably more than half of the car’s components are of German origin. In succeeding to sell Lamborghini cars in NZ, the greatest economic advantage will probably go to the German economy.

Therefore, the role of NZEBC is justified not only conceptually but also economically and we could apply to it the Latin motto “Viribus Unitis”. Although NZEBC promotes Europe in its entirety (including, for instance, Switzerland) its focus is concentrated particularly on the EU and now its role has been enhanced by the advanced negotiations for the Free Trade Area (FTA) between NZ and EU.

A great opportunity and challenge for NZEBC in 2021

After intense preparation and analysis, the Council has decided to submit to the NZ Authorities a comprehensive project to support the preliminary activities and subsequent implementation of the FTA when signed. NZEBC has applied for the required funding under the Trade Negotiation Fund (TNF) scheme, for the preliminary stages of the project. The first part of the project is subdivided in three steps:

  • Phase 1: Establishing the 2-way market potential;
  • Phase 2: Website redevelopment to interactive portal;
  • Phase 3: Communication strategy.

Although the Project’s management and operational activities required to deliver the agreed contractual output will fall mainly on NZEBC, the interaction and support by each single member of the organization, for all the three phases, will be essential if we want to succeed.

The three preliminary phases, as described above, are directed mainly to define the “status quo” and the existing opportunities to develop the mutual relationship “ex Ante” of the FTA.

The subsequent phases 4 and 5, described only conceptually in our submitted project, which will take place only “ex Post” of the signing of the FTA, are more important and with higher complexities and higher financial commitments.

The final outputs of the second part of the project would be:

  • Analyse in detail and interpret the content of the FTA agreement, highlighting opportunities and hurdles to overcome from the perspective of NZ and EU.
  • Define operational procedures how to enforce the FTA agreement, achieving its entire potential to benefit EU and NZ.

No need to say that the contribution and interaction with each single member of the organization, if we want to succeed, is essential and even greater of the first part of the project, but the reward would be also much bigger for everybody.

Again, “Viribus Unitis” and we will succeed.

Gianfranco Ugazzi, ICCNZ member.