Auckland Mayor Len Brown says Korea is a major opportunity for export-focused Auckland businesses and wants Auckland to look to Korea as an example of successful strategic economic development.
Len Brown is leading 17 Auckland businesses on a trade mission to Korea and Taiwan. In Korea, the delegation visited Auckland’s partner cities of Busan and Pohang, and the economic powerhouse, Seoul.
He says Korea’s rapid transition from a rural country with few natural resources to a high tech and prosperous urban society has lessons Auckland can learn from. “Korea has a clear plan for the nation’s economic prosperity. Central and local government, business, academia and community sectors are all committed to delivering it.
“There is a strong national will to succeed despite obstacles like not having a lot of natural resources. Big factors in that success are the strong focus on research and development, and local and central government being prepared to significantly invest in economic development to achieve national prosperity.
The trade mission coincided with the Busan International Film Festival, in which Film Auckland is closely involved. The Auckland Council controlled agency has been active in facilitating joint opportunities in the Auckland and Korean film, animation and gaming sectors for many years, and is following up a number of potential projects to come out of the Busan film events.
Len Brown says Korea is reaping the benefits of significant investment in infrastructure, and is now turning its efforts to arts and cultural development as well as continuing its strong focus on R&D.
“We’re here to say to the world that Auckland is open for business. We want to leverage Auckland’s high value export opportunities through our partner city relationships in Korea, China and Japan.
“Our partner cities in Korea are harbour cities, manufacturing hubs with strong entrepreneurial spirits and innovative, high-tech hearts. Our companies and research institutes are already collaborating in areas such as nanotechnology, robotics, photonics, gaming, animation, and 3D conversion. There is further potential to work closely with Korean partners on aquaculture and marine projects, and many other areas.”
The delegation is now in Taiwan, visiting Auckland’s partner city of Taichung and the economic centres of Taipei and New Taipei before returning home on Friday.