LANZBC Newsletter March 2017
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The Council was delighted when Victoria University, and its consortium partners the University of Auckland, the University of Waikato and the University of Otago were awarded the first Centre of Asia-Pacific Excellence for Latin America on 9 March. While the degree of the Council's involvement in the delivery of the Latin American CAPE programme is still being finalised, we look forward to working with these organisations in preparing New Zealanders to trade successfully with Latin American markets.

The LANZBC was also delighted to meet so many past, present and (hopefully) future members of the Council at the Mexican Embassy/ProMexico Doing Business in Mexico seminars in Christchurch, Wellington and Hamilton. A full report on this series of events is found below.

Finally, if you haven't yet paid your 2017 membership yet, please do so now to ensure you keep receiving the full benefit of your membership.

Enjoy the read and keep sending us your suggestions for how we can make this an even more informative newsletter.
Latin American CAPE approved
A major opportunity for our Business Council opened up this month when Tertiary Education Minister Paul Goldsmith announced that a ‘Centre of Asia-Pacific Excellence’ for Latin America would be established at Victoria University of Wellington (the home of LANZBC member VILLA).

Alongside similar centres to be created for North Asia and South-east Asia, the purpose of this ‘CAPE’ is to prepare New Zealanders  to trade successfully with the regional markets on which our economic future depends.
As such, the majority of its activities will focus not on traditional academic research but on practical courses for businesses – especially small and medium–sized firms – and on linguistic and cultural preparation for our nation’s youth.
Joining Victoria in the winning consortium were three other New Zealand universities: LANZBC member the University of Auckland; the University of Waikato; and the University of Otago. Of direct significance for the Council and its members, too, these university collaborators identified the LANZBC as their primary partner in co-delivering some of the Latin American CAPE programmes, and emphasised that fact to the bid judges.
The exact role the Council will play in that programme delivery – and the exact programmes to be delivered – will become clear over the next two months, as the terms of the CAPE’s establishment phase are agreed with the Tertiary Education Commission. We can say however that because significant funds will be directed annually to the CAPE there will be unprecedented  opportunities for the universities and the Council to run a range of activities together to transform the public and business community’s understanding of the opportunities for New Zealand businesses in Latin America.
Above: The Hon. Paul Goldsmith, Minister for Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment with Matthew O'Meagher, LANZBC President and Assistant Vice-Chancellor (International Engagement) at Victoria University.
Across the three CAPES, too, they will foster new forms of university-to-business dialogues, and create  new opportunities for business leaders to share their regional expertise with market entrants, new employees, and school and tertiary students. Over the CAPE’s lifetimes also there will be regular opportunities for businesses to inform CAPE activity and comment on its effectiveness.

In announcing this news the Council wishes to thank all the universities whose bids it supported, including those who were not successful.   Furthermore, we wish to acknowledge the support the Latin American ambassadors showed from the outset for the CAPE concept, and their willingness to convey that support to the New Zealand government. Above all we wish to thank Victoria and its partners for their desire to collaborate with us in this project and to commend the New Zealand government on the imagination they showed in creating this initiative. It will be a wonderful way to way to start our third decade as an organisation!
To find out more about the Latin American CAPE, please see contact LANZBC President Matthew O’Meagher; read the funding announcement at; or await further details in our May newsletter.
Above, L-R: Professor Grant Guilford, Vice-Chancellor of Victoria University of Wellington; Romina Bocache, Counsellor and Head of the Consular Section, Argentine Embassy to NZ; the Hon. Paul Goldsmith, Minister for Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment; HE Mario Alzugaruy, Cuban Ambassador to NZ; HE Gerardo Traslosheros, Mexican Ambassador to NZ and HE Mr Rodrigo Espinosa Marty, Ambassador of Chile to NZ.
LANZBC Board nomination period open
LANZBC members were notified by email on 22 March that the Nomination Period for our next Board has opened, with nominations accepted until 5pm on Wednesday 5 April.

Any members who have not received the email of 22 March should contact Heather Kawan as soon as possible.
Applicants must be paying members of the LANZBC, and should have broad business skills, sound business experience in/with Latin America, and the desire and time to promote the LANZBC and encourage trade between New Zealand and Latin America. Further information on the LANZBC Board, skills and competencies sought from directors and expected time commitments can be found here.

Nominees will need to complete a Board Nomination Form (complete with signatures of a proposer and seconder, both of whom must be financial members of the Council or associated with an organisation that is) and submit a biography of no more than 200 words with an accompanying photograph, and return it to LANZBC Secretary Heather Kawan at In their biographies nominees are encouraged to state the specific contributions they wish to make to our organisation.

For more information, please contact Heather Kawan on 0226 308 533 or by email.
LANZBC Annual General Meeting
Members are advised that the Annual General Meeting of the Latin America New Zealand Business Council will be held on Thursday 27 April 2017. A formal Notice of Meeting together with the relevant AGM papers will be emailed to members on Monday 10th April.
Event report: Doing Business in Mexico roadshow
With the objective of promoting business opportunities between Mexico and New Zealand and based on the earlier success of a seminar organised in Auckland in October 2016, the Embassy of Mexico in New Zealand set up a roadshow of business seminars around the country in coordination with the Mexican Trade Promotion Agency (ProMexico) and key partners including the Canterbury Employers’ Chamber of Commerce (CECC), the Wellington Chamber of Commerce (WCC), Fieldays, Export New Zealand, New Zealand Trade and Enterprise and the Latin America New Zealand Business Council (LANZBC).
The seminars took place in Christchurch on March 21, Wellington on March 22 and Hamilton on March 23 and were attended by approximately 100 people (30 in Christchurch, 40 in Wellington and 30 in Hamilton), mainly business executives from across New Zealand, as well as public and private representatives from the Canterbury, Wellington and Waikato regions. This Mexican roadshow in New Zealand was warmly received by the business community.
The seminars began with a welcoming address by the Mexican Ambassador, H.E. José Gerardo Traslosheros, who emphasised the competitive advantages of Mexico, as well as the wide variety of opportunities for New Zealand businesses, including projects in the fields of science and technology.

The Ambassador highlighted Mexico’s many competitive strengths, including its array of free trade agreements and membership of the WTO.
ProMexico´s Trade Commissioner, Mr Esaú Garza, detailed the potential of Mexico as a market of 127 million people, as well as an investment destination to expand the reach of New Zealand products and services.
Mr Garza accentuated the current interest of both Mexico and New Zealand in strengthening economic relations through a regional or bilateral free trade agreement to allow further engagement and mutual preferential access for goods, services and investment.

In addition, he presented Mexico’s top-performing sectors (food, beverages, automotive, auto parts, aerospace, electric, electronic, home appliances, medical devices, pharmaceutical, IT, mining, oil and gas, renewable energies, creative industries, fashion and design) and the opportunities these represent for New Zealand firms. Mr Garza emphasised Mexico’s outstanding results in multiple international indicators and consulting agencies’ reports, as well as its improving position in the ease of doing business index, where it features as the highest-ranking country in Latin America.

The seminars incorporated case studies from leading New Zealand companies successfully carrying out their business operations in Mexico. Senior executives from Fisher and Paykel Healthcare and CBL Insurance Ltd openly shared their fruitful experiences of doing business in Mexico and encouraged the audience in attendance to consider the country as a key destination for profitable business expansion.
In Christchurch, Mr Dean Finlay, Director of International Business of CBL Insurance Ltd, described his company’s successful experience in Mexico, which was very much appreciated by an engaged public.

CBL is a business with a specialised niche market offering a variety of products in the insurance industry. CBL have been operating in Mexico for 15 years, opening a representative office in Mexico City in 2012.
Above right: Dean Finlay of CBL Insurance.  Below left: Marcus Driller of Fisher & Paykel Healthcare
In the Wellington and Hamilton seminars respectively, Fisher and Paykel Healthcare’s Mr Tony Barclay, CFO and Mr Marcus Driller, GM Corporate, detailed the success story of their business in Tijuana, Mexico. The company started operations in 2009 and now has more than 900 employees.
Mr Barclay and Mr Driller expressed great satisfaction with the performance of their Mexico project, highlighting the advantages the firm found in doing business (most particularly the logistical advantages and the skill and productivity of the Mexican labour force).

The seminars concluded with an address by the LANZBC. In Christchurch and Hamilton respectively, the Council’s Directors, Mr Craig Musson and Mr Kevin Murray, and in Wellington, its President, Mr Matthew O’Meagher, underscored the role Mexico plays in the region, the fact that the country is New Zealand’s foremost trading partner in Latin America and that it represents an essential gateway for the American continent while bridging the Asia-Pacific region.
Mexico expressed its special gratitude to John Milford, CEO of the WCC, Peter Townsend, CEO of the CECC, and Peter Nation, CEO from Fieldays, for introducing each of the corresponding events.

This report was written and shared by the Embassy of Mexico. Copies of all the speaker presentations are available on the LANZBC website.
Above (L-R):Marcelo Mieres from Mystery Creek Events Centre and LANZBC Director, Esau Garza, ProMexico's Trade Commissioner, HE José Gerardo Traslosheros and Kevin Murray, LANZBC Director at the Mystery Creek Events Centre, Hamilton.
LANZBC welcomes new members
Please welcome the Embassy of Uruguay as a new member of the LANZBC.
The Embassy of Uruguay is based in Canberra, Australia and is headed up by His Excellency, Dr Ricardo Javier Varela Fernández, the Ambassador of Uruguay to Australia and New Zealand. The LANZBC looks forward to working more closely with the Embassy of Uruguay in improving trade relations between our two nations.
Future event: ALABC Latin American Infrastructure Forum 2017
This timely Forum and associated networking events offer Australasian business an unprecedented opportunity to learn about the status of the key markets in Latin America - with an emphasis on the infrastructure developments taking place across region – and to connect with the opportunities that they offer to Australasian business.
Latin America’s infrastructure sector has an extensive pipeline of projects that Australasian business is well qualified to exploit. This event offers you an unrivalled opportunity to learn about the projects and how best to access them. Whether your goal is to be involved in investing in or supplying inputs into infrastructure projects in Latin America, or you simply want to learn about the status of these emerging markets to enhance your business prospects in the region, this event is one that you should not miss. For the full programme of events and details of registration and ticket prices, the Latin American Infrastructure Forum 2017 brochure can be downloaded here.
Free webinar - Latin America in 2017: A turning point?
LANZBC members and friends are invited to watch to a free webinar given by Focus Economics' Senior Economist Ricardo Aceves, who will answer the question: Will 2017 be a turning point for Latin America? Or will heightened uncertainty in the North offset a rebound in the South?
The economy of Latin America is facing a challenging year following last year’s recession. U.S. President Donald Trump has investors and business people in Mexico on edge, while Argentina and Brazil struggle to make an economic recovery.

In this webinar, Senior Economist Ricardo Aceves covers:
  • Current state of play and why Latam returned to recession in 2016
  • Opportunities and risks in 2017
  • Special focus on Mexico and the likely impact of Trump’s policies
  • Closer look at the economies of Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia and Peru
This webinar is recommended for anyone doing business or investing in Latin America in the coming years. Click here to watch the webinar.
If you are a member running an event that relates to business between New Zealand and Latin America, please be sure to email us at - we can promote your event using our social media outlets, as well as this newsletter.
Sharing our members' stories and success
Viva Expeditions and Chimu Adventures: Breaking new ground with the opening of Casa Republica, a new boutique hotel in Lima, Peru.

Rachel Williams, Managing Director of the market leading South American and Antarctic tour operator Viva Expeditions said the move into owning and managing hotels was the “next logical step” for the company, which currently operates a 3-star guest house in Cusco.

Around $5 million will be pumped into the 22-room Lima property to transform it from its current 1920s heritage-listed mansion into a 4-star unique superior hotel catering to local and international clientele, including their own guests.
“We are very excited,  there’s a shortage of good hotels in Lima, especially for both business and leisure travellers who want to stay in hotels with charm & character, a boutique hotel with modern facilities in a great area. This also ties in perfectly with our retail and wholesale operations”
Its prime location in the heart of Barranco, just 200m from the beach on Saenz Pena, one of the area’s best streets, is also a major attraction. “Barranco is a really trendy neighbourhood, it is safe and has a lot of charm, with lots of great restaurants, cafes and galleries.” says Rachel.
Work is well under way on the project, which is scheduled for completion by July 2017. When complete, the former beach retreat of a wealthy Lima family will feature 22 stylish guest rooms, beautiful public areas, a restaurant and a rooftop bar with views of the South Pacific.

Tourism to Peru is on a roll with visitor numbers more than doubling in the past decade, reaching an all-time high of 4.22 million in 2015, an increase of 9.3% over 2014, and momentum is continuing through this year.

For booking enquiries and further information on Casa Republica, visit

Above (L - R): Greg Carter, Rachel Williams & Chad Carey of Viva Expeditions & Chimu Adventures at the entrance of Casa Republica in Lima
LATAM Airlines appointed to NZ All-of-Government panel for air services
LATAM Airlines has been appointed to a New Zealand All-of-Government (AoG) airline panel, following a procurement process by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment for the provision of Air Travel Services to the New Zealand Government.

The four year contract, which has the potential to be extended to ten years, will see LATAM provide discounted and flexible fares for government employees from Auckland to South America. This news follows LATAM’s appointment to the Whole-of-Australian-Government airline panel in 2016.

“We’re delighted to announce our appointment to the New Zealand All-of-Government airline panel,” said Patricio Aylwin, Managing Director Asia Pacific, LATAM Airlines Group. “Through this agreement, public servants and government agencies will have access to a range of savings and benefits, as well as our unrivalled network in South America and outstanding on-board service and amenities.”

“As the only airline to offer daily services from Auckland to Latin America, it’s an honour to be selected for this panel and recognised for our commitment to the region,” added Aylwin.

New Zealand & Latin American Relations
(these articles are available to LANZBC members only)
Agricultural co-operation agreement signed with Argentina
Air Services Agreement with Colombia
Clare Kelly ends term as Ambassador to Mexico
Education New Zealand South American Roadshow
Finding your way in Brazil's wine market
McClay: there is still life in the TPP
Prospects for NZ/Pacific Alliance FTA gather pace
PM launches ambitious trade agenda
(these articles are available to LANZBC members only)
NAFTA: Up the creek without the paddle?
Brazil agribusiness exports reach US$5.87 billion in January 2017
Record number of tourists for Mexico in 2016
Maori and Latin American rhythms are melded in song
A visiting Latin American musician who is recording with Maori musicians says the two cultures work well together in song.

Romulo Castro has travelled from Panama to work with Maori artists  in performances and recordings, and is visiting schools in Manawatu, Whanganui, Hastings, Tauranga and Auckland to promote the Spanish language.

He is a "household name" in Latin America, says Massey lecturer and poet Leonel Alvarado.​ He describes Castro's music as socially and politically charged folk music heavily infused with indigenous influences from around the world. While in New Zealand Castro will record two tracks. The first is a re-write of his 1990 song The Wind Rose, protesting the American invasion of Panama. The lyrics have been translated to te reo and it will be performed by Castro, the Massey Maori Studies kapa haka group Ponga, and Manawatu Rangitane artist Warren Warbrick, who uses traditional Maori instruments. (Source: Manawatu Standard). READ MORE
La Latina: authentic Latin American recipes available at a fantastic price

Miami-born, Venezuela-raised, New Zealand-based chef Grace Ramirez shares her interpretation of traditional recipes from throughout Latin America in her beautiful recipe book, La Latina.

Utilising readily available ingredients, Grace recreates the authentic tastes she grew up with in contemporary dishes full of bold flavours. In this unique cookbook Grace shares inspirational recipes for every meal as well as fascinating titbits of information about each Latin American country's culinary history.

LANZBC members and friends have the unique opportunity to purchase multiple copies of this fantastic book at an exclusive wholesale rate. These books would make a perfect promotional vehicle – a fabulous high quality gift that you could use to your advantage in promoting Latin America. Readers can purchase 10 or more copies for $19.99 incl GST per copy. A delivery charge of $20 per 10 books applies. Please contact Barbara Going at Penquin Random House Publishing for enquiries.

WIN: The LANZBC has a copy of La Latina to give away to one lucky reader, courtesy of  Penguin Random House Publishing. Please email Heather Kawan with your name and contact details to enter.

In this section we will bring some facts and figures about Latin America that will give you an insight into the market, the culture or at least make you look smart if you drop it in a conversation when entertaining a client or at a business meeting.
  • With over 100 wineries around the country, Chile is now the 5th largest wine exporter in the world. Source:
  • ALADI is the largest Latin-American group of integration covering more than 493 million people. It is responsible for regulations on foreign trade in order for trade to be even handed amongst members of ALADI. Source:
  • The 2008 Constitution of Ecuador recognised nature as an entity with legally enforceable rights, making it the first country in the world to do so.
  • The South American revolutionary Simon Bolivar was, at various times, president of Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Venezuela.. Source:
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