Cornwall looks to New Zealand

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An agreement has been struck that could pave the way for closer business links between Cornwall and New Zealand.

A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between Cornwall Trade & Investment (CTI), the Cornwall Chamber of Commerce, and the Waikato Chamber of Commerce paves the way for joint activities to support the regions’ economic development.

Cornwall and Waikato have much in common, both being rural economies with a strong focus on innovation and growth. With support from CTI, Cornish agritech businesses including Glas Data and Water Powered Technologies exhibited this year at Fieldays, the largest agricultural event in New Zealand—gaining new contracts, private investors, and an opportunity to build strong overseas networks.

Nicola Lloyd, director of Cornwall Trade & Investment and Chris Simpson, chief executive of Waikato Chamber of Commerce

The MoU hopes to build on those foundations, creating opportunities and support channels for Cornwall-based businesses keen to trade with New Zealand and the wider Asia-Pacific region.

Nicola Lloyd, director of Cornwall Trade & Investment, said: “This agreement not only gives Cornwall-based businesses access to a key export market, but could also provide a route into further markets like China and Australia.”

Kim Conchie, CEO of Cornwall Chamber of Commerce, said: “This MoU shows our ambition to open up new global trading relationships for the whole of the south west. We look forward to learning from Waikato and to sharing with them our expertise, people and place through our Export for Growth programme, our export documentation service and our training.”

Chris Simpson, chief executive of Waikato Chamber of Commerce, added: “We proudly sign this MOU because we support the opportunities in the areas of better agri technology and better access to the UK and NZ markets for all signatories. With Cornwall and the Waikato being similar with regards to their economies, it makes strong economic and business sense that we should be closer aligned.”

Ties between the two regions have been brokered and strengthened by Truro-born Waikato businessman Colin Groves, chairman of Waikato Rugby Union and director of the Cornish Pirates and Truro City FC.

He commented: “Cornwall and Waikato have many similarities; rugby, surfing, tourism, agritech and pastoral farming. The bringing together of the two regions on both the sporting and economic paddocks is a double win-win.”

The three organisations will now work on a joint development plan to bring the ambitions set out in the MoU to life. Businesses interested in learning more about the opportunities it creates are encouraged to contact Cornwall Trade & Investment at info@cornwallti.com.