LANZBC Newsletter - May 2020
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May was a busy month for the council, as we continued our efforts to support our members and promote trade between NZ and Latin America in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic.

We have received great feedback about our Covid-19 Resources page and we are pleased to be able to offer valuable information to assist our members through these difficult times. Please don’t hesitate to get in touch if you have suggestions for any other information you might want to see there.

On 25 May we hosted a free webinar with LANZBC member Chapman Tripp, in which senior team members from this prestigious law firm provided legal advice for importers and exporters facing disruptions to their business as a consequence to Covid-19.
I’d like to thank the team at Chapman Tripp for this excellent event and encourage other LANZBC members and friends to get in touch if they would like to collaborate with us in a similar fashion. We are working to bring you more webinars in the following weeks, always looking to provide our members with the latest information and tools to assist in their Latin American business. 

We’ve also put out a call for volunteers for the LANZBC Young Professionals Network Interim Committee, looking to attract exciting young talent to provide leadership through the setup stages of the network. If you think you are up to this challenge, get in touch! We would love to hear from you.

As always, please feel free to contact the Board via should you have any news, views or information you'd like to share or if you need help through these trying times. We appreciate hearing from you. 

All the best, 

Special thanks to our LANZBC Platinum Sponsors
The LANZBC has put together a Covid-19 resources page as a way of helping our members access the latest official information from Latin American and New Zealand governments, health organizations, and other reputable sources. The information is organized by region and it includes updates on Covid-19 cases across Latin America, travel restrictions, relevant information on Latin American Markets, official government information by country and a New Zealand section with links to information on the New Zealand Government’s measures to support businesses affected by the Covid-19 pandemic, among other useful resources.

To access the LANZBC Covid-19 resources page, click the button below:

LANZBC Covid-19 Resources Page
LANZBC 2020 Annual General Meeting
The 2020 Annual General Meeting of the Latin America New Zealand Business Council Incorporated was held via teleconference on Thursday 21 May 2020 at 5.00 pm. 

In presenting the Board with the 2019 Annual Report, LANZBC President Simon O’Connor commented on a fruitful year, highlighting a series of successful events like August’s luncheon with the Minister of Trade and Economic Growth, Hon David Parker. 
LANZBC Treasurer Peter McMenamin presented the Financial Statements for the year ended 31 December 2019, commenting that it was a strong year for the council in terms of finances, with an increase in revenue from subscriptions and events in comparison to the previous year and additional funding for the Website Update and the LANZBC Young Professionals Network.

LANZBC Young Professionals Network Call for Volunteers
Are you a young professional or student interested in exploring or deepening business and cultural links with Latin America? Are you up for a challenge that will allow you to develop or expand your leadership and intercultural competence skills? 

The Latin America New Zealand Business Council and the Latin America Centre of Asia-Pacific Excellence are calling for volunteers to lead the establishment of the LANZBC Young Professionals Network (the YPN).

As a member of the YPN Interim Committee, you will be part of a team that will provide leadership through the setup stages of the network, plan its initial activities, direct and assist in the fulfilment of its mission and in the setting and implementation of its goals and objectives.

Applications close on Wednesday, 10 June 2020 at 11:59 PM. For more information and instructions on how to apply please click on the button below:

YPN Call for Volunteers
LANZBC Hosts Free Webinar with Chapman Tripp
The LANZBC and Chapman Tripp hosted a free webinar on 25 May in which the firm's legal experts discussed issues affecting importers and exporters in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic.

LANZBC members and friends were able to get valuable insights and advice from senior members of the Chapman Tripp team on issues like contractual rights, insolvency options and tax relief for importers and exporters whose businesses have been affected by

In case you missed it, a recording of the webinar is available below:
Don't forget to follow our LinkedIn page (click here) to ensure you keep up to date with LANZBC news, events and opportunities.  
Former LANZBC Vice President Calls for Air NZ Flights to South America to Be Restored “At Earliest Opportunity”
Stuff published an opinion piece by Thomas Manning in which the Former LANZBC Vice President called for Air New Zealand flights to South America to be restored “at the earliest opportunity”.

Air New Zealand suspended its Auckland-Buenos Aires service on March 18 and later announced it would not be resuming operation on that route "due to the deep impact of Covid-19 on forward travel demand.”

Mr Manning pointed out that in its 4 years of operation the route was estimated to have generated more than $500m in revenues, and argued that “with a new, urgent imperative to diversify New Zealand's export markets it is clearly in the national interest to maintain this direct air link with South America and its more than 500 million consumers.”


Source: Stuff
Image: Manning Group Ltd.

What Will Happen as the Coronavirus Pandemic Epicenter Moves to Latin America

Latin America recently outstripped both the United States and Europe to officially register more daily new cases of coronavirus, earning the region the dubious distinction of becoming the world’s newest epicentre of the global pandemic crisis, according to the World Health Organization. As the pandemic shifts from the developed world and into the developing world, a lot of the economic and political woes of Latin America will be accentuated. 


Image: David Mercado/Reuters

Argentina extends deadline of debt negotiations, may sweeten offer

Argentina extended the deadline to negotiate with its creditors to June 12 and may sweeten its most recent restructuring offer after a previous proposal was deemed insufficient by some investors, Reuters reports. The government is looking to revamp about $65 billion in bonds rendered unsustainable by a long recession and a currency plunge.

Argentina is already in default after having missed an interest payment extension on May 22. The current offer received backing from the International Monetary Fund, which said on June 1st that it would set the country on a sustainable debt management path and that Argentina had little room to improve it.

The Inter-American Dialogue recently hosted three distinguished panellists from Argentina with vast experience in the academic and policy worlds for an in-depth discussion about the economic, social and political issues facing the country in the context of Covid-19. Panellists included former minister of the Treasury and former President of the Central Bank of Argentina, Alfonso Prat-Gay and the Director of the Institute of Latin American Studies at Columbia University, María Victoria Murillo.

A full recording of the panel is available below:

Sources: Reuters, The Inter-American Dialogue 
Image: Lars Curfs/Creative Commons

Roberto Fendt named as Brazil's deputy economy minister for foreign trade

Economist Roberto Fendt, Executive Secretary of the Brazil-China Business Council and a graduate of the University of Chicago, is to be Brazil’s new deputy economy minister for foreign trade.

Fendt will take up the role in July and will replace Marcos Troyjo, who was named as head of the New Development Bank, a bank comprising the so-called BRICS countries of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.


Source: Reuters

Peru’s finance minister Maria Antonieta Alva is a Covid-19 'hero'

Everyone calls her Toni. Mothers take selfies of her with their children, and street hawkers push bracelets into her hand as presents. Artists sketch her portrait and post them to social media. TV networks vie for interviews and run profiles asking, “Who is María Antonieta Alva?"

The answer: She’s the 35-year-old finance minister of Peru steering an ambitious recovery package during a devastating pandemic, and she is winning praise for its generosity to small businesses and ordinary citizens.


Source: Mint 
Image: Andina

Costa Rica: The long road to a zero-carbon country

Costa Rica – an ecological paradise of sandy beaches, protected tropical forests and pristine waterfalls, right? Include its 99% renewable electricity and the country is often considered one of the greenest there is. But for those familiar with its capital, San José, a different picture emerges.

The reality of life here in the heart of the country’s central valley can feel far less eco-friendly. San José’s streets are typically full to brimming with cars, daily traffic jams and often-unreliable public transport.

Costa Rica has the ambition to reach net zero-carbon by 2050. It’s gone a long way already, but how will its polluted capital clean up?


Source: BBC

Mourning in Mexico

Mexicans are exceptionally close to their dead, a tradition that predates the arrival of Christianity. They hold overnight wakes at home, where sleepless family members dole out coffee and sweet bread. They flock to the cemetery with marigolds for an annual celebration, to spend the whole day with those who have passed. Catholics pray for nine days, to usher the deceased’s soul to heaven, as members of the community, sometimes hundreds, come to offer condolences.

But as the coronavirus death toll mounts, interrupted mourning rituals leave families unmoored. This article by Maya Averbuch published in Foreign Policy looks at the ways in which the pandemic is disrupting Mexico’s centuries-old funerary traditions.


Source: Foreign Policy 
Image: Luis Antonio Rojas/Foreign Policy

Special thanks to our LANZBC Platinum Sponsors
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