LANZBC Newsletter - April 2020
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I hope this newsletter finds you and your family doing well under these very challenging circumstances.

Over the past month the LANZBC has kept its focus on supporting our members and ongoing trade in general in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.

We are constantly updating our COVID-19 Resources page with the latest official information from Latin American and New Zealand governments, health organizations, and other reputable sources. We encourage you to take a look and get in touch if you have suggestions for any other information you might want to see there.
Last week we sent an email to members asking you to identify the issues that you are more interested in hearing about in our upcoming webinars. These are in the works and we are hoping to be able to share more details about them soon.

We’ve also made progress towards the launch of our Young Professionals Network (YPN). We are working with the Latin America Centre of Asia-Pacific Excellence to set up an interim YPN committee and establish an initial ‘virtual’ phase of the YPN. We will soon be sending communications calling for membership applications for this committee, which will help drive the digital rollout of this initiative.

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 Rescheduled
The 2020 Annual General Meeting of the Latin America New Zealand Business Council Incorporated has been rescheduled and will be held via teleconference on Thursday 21 May 2020 at 5.00 pm.
The online voting period has been extended as a consequence of the rescheduling of the AGM and will now close on Wednesday 20 May 2020 at 5:00 pm.
Should you have any questions regarding the Annual General Meeting or the online voting process, please do not hesitate to contact our executive officer Cristián Cornejo. (
The LANZBC Young Professionals Network Goes Digital 
As part of the LANZBC’s response to COVID-19, our work with the Latin America Centre of Asia-Pacific Excellence (LatAm Cape) on creating the Young Professionals Network (YPN) has shifted to the digital space. 
The YPN aims to equip the next generation of New Zealand business leaders to engage with Latin America and to provide a peer network for young New Zealanders returning to the country after study and work experiences in the region. This peer-to-peer network will support the ongoing learning, knowledge exchange, and professional development of those with experience or interested in Latin America.

We are working with the LatAm Cape to set up an interim YPN committee to establish an initial ‘virtual’ phase of the YPN. We will send communications shortly calling for membership applications for this committee, which will help drive the digital rollout of this initiative. 

If you haven't yet registered your interest in the network, you can still do so by clicking on the button below:
Register your interest in the YPN
LANZBC member University of Auckland retains No 1 spot in international sustainability rankings
For the second year in a row, LANZBC Member the University of Auckland has ranked No.1 in the world in the Times Higher Education (THE) University Impact Rankings. These measure the performance of universities against the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Sustainability at the University of Auckland

The University of Auckland was first among the 850 institutions from 89 countries that participated and was ranked in the top 25% for each of the Goals with which it engaged.

The global ranking was launched in 2019 to measure the broader impact of universities. It highlights the work being delivered by universities within their communities, demonstrating the differences they can make to the world against measures such as providing inclusive and equitable quality education, achieving gender equality, and championing environmental sustainability. Universities are assessed against each of the 17 SDGs, which were adopted by the UN in 2015 to provide a framework for developing the world in a sustainable way.
Don't forget to follow our LinkedIn page (click here) to ensure you keep up to date with LANZBC news, events and opportunities.  
LANZBC member Viva Expeditions helps bring stranded Kiwis home from South America
New Zealanders who found themselves stranded in Peru, Chile and Brazil due to coronavirus border closures were able to return home thanks to the efforts of the New Zealand Government and LANZBC member Viva Expeditions. The flight left Lima, Peru, on 14 April and made stops in Cusco, Peru and Santiago, Chile before touching down in Auckland in the early hours of 15 April.

“We worked very closely with the government on this project and their support was essential”, said Rachel Williams, founder of Viva Expeditions. “I’m incredibly grateful for all the assistance we received from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the New Zealand Ambassadors, the Peruvian & Chilean government officials & LATAM Airlines. Together we were able to navigate the ever-changing travel and border restrictions, lawyers, insurance companies, governments & airport authorities to make it happen. We also want to thank the travellers and their families for their patience and support”, Williams added. LATAM Airlines is a Platinum Member of the LANZBC.

Image: Viva Expeditions

A Roadmap for Confronting COVID-19 in Latin America

In the latest edition of Americas Quarterly, a group of former Latin American presidents, former officials and distinguished scholars took a look at the ethics and economic imperatives of the COVID-19 pandemic. In a letter titled A Roadmap for Confronting COVID-19 in Latin America they call for “prompt and decisive action”, pointing out that “the suppression of the epidemic to minimize its morbidity and mortality must be our top priority.”

Their recommendations to soften the pandemic’s blow to Latin American economies included policies to protect the incomes of individuals and households; wage subsidies to assist businesses during the period of widespread social distancing; credit guarantees provided by governments to make sure banks keep lending and temporary changes in regulation to promote incentives for credit expansion; and Fiscal stimulus during the recovery phase.

In the international context, the signatories stressed the need for Latin American leaders to “call forcefully for international cooperation to confront the crisis”, and pointed out that “external support for both fiscal accounts and the balance of payments is indispensable in this crisis, especially for smaller and less developed countries in Latin America.” 
Source: Americas Quarterly 
Image: Hospital workers in Brazil. Silvio Avila/AFP/Getty Images

Global OECD welcomes Colombia as its 37th Member

Colombia has now completed its domestic procedures for ratification of the OECD Convention and deposited its instrument of accession. This brings to a successful conclusion an accession process that began in 2013.

Colombia will be the third Member country from the Latin America and Caribbean region, following Mexico and Chile. A fourth, Costa Rica, is entering the final stages of its accession process to the Organisation. OECD Member countries formally invited Colombia to join the Organisation in May 2018, following a five-year accession process during which it underwent in-depth reviews by 23 OECD Committees and introduced major reforms to align its legislation, policies and practices to OECD standards. Welcoming the news, OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurría said, “The accession process has offered Colombia the opportunity to address major policy issues and challenges multilaterally and to learn from the experiences of fellow OECD countries. Engaging Colombia has also served to enrich the OECD’s knowledge and policy experience.”
Source: OECD 
Image: Colombian President Iván Duque and OECD Secretary-General Ángel Gurría. Colprensa.

Mexico and EU finalise new free-trade agreement

Mexico and the EU have wrapped up four years of negotiations with a new free-trade agreement that will make virtually all trade in goods between the EU and Mexico duty free, the Financial Times reports.

Graciela Márquez, Mexico’s economy minister and EU trade commissioner Phil Hogan finalised the last details of the update to the 19-year-old pact in a call on 28 April. “With this, the EU and Mexico can advance to the signature and ratification of this agreement,” the EU said in a statement.

Mexico is the EU’s top Latin American trade partner with bilateral trade in goods worth €66bn and trade in services worth another €19bn. The EU is Mexico’s third-biggest trading partner and EU nations have invested $180bn in Mexico, according to its economy ministry. EU-Mexico trade in goods has more than tripled since the entry into force of the original agreement in 2001. 
Source: Financial Times 
Image: European Commission

Argentina quits all future Mercosur trade talks amid virus crisis

The Argentine government announced on 24 April that it will withdraw from all future negotiations over free-trade deals involving the Mercosur trade bloc, a decision that was said to be part of a move to concentrate fully on the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and its economic fall-out on the nation.

The statement by the Argentine Ministry of Foreign Affairs also criticized some Mercosur members for proposing "an acceleration of the negotiations for free-trade agreements with South Korea, Singapore, Lebanon, Canada and India, among others," at a time when "international uncertainty and the state of our economy suggest halting progress on those negotiations." 
Source: Buenos Aires Times 
Image: Argentine Minister of Foreign Affairs and Worship Felipe Solá. Damián Dopacio/Buenos Aires Times

Women tell stories in NZ through traditional Latino fabric art

A group of women is contributing to the Wellington creative scene with a traditional Latino artform called arpilleras, which tells stories through fabric and colour.

The 10 women of Wellington Arpilleras Collective illustrate their experiences, knowledge, and beliefs through patching and embroidery. According to Peruvian artist Mirella Moschella​, arpilleras were like "painting but with fabric". 

The women had planned to hold a workshop at The Wellington Museum on April 11, which had to be cancelled due to coronavirus. Those interested in their work can still visit their website on to find photos, projects, and information on future workshops.

Source: Stuff 
Image: Arpilleras Wellington

Special thanks to our LANZBC Platinum Sponsors
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