New Zealand: Your Preferred Supplier of Biotechnology

  • Dr Lockwood Smith
International Trade

Hyatt Hotel

Thank you Paul Hsu. Ladies and Gentlemen:

The New Zealand businesspeople here today are respected - not just in New Zealand but in all in the markets in which they operate - for their integrity, their professionalism and the quality of the product and service they offer. Back home, I'm a beef farmer and I use their products and services. I'm pleased to be able to support them today - in a private and unofficial capacity - as they plan their next expansion into key markets in North and East Asia.

New Zealand's economic development has been based on agriculture. We see ourselves as the most effective and efficient producers of healthy food and fibre in the world. One of the key reasons for that success is our excellent animal health status. We are geographically isolated and operate one of the strictest border protection systems in the world. As a result, we're free from many of the diseases affecting animals in the rest of the world. That means we are recognised as one of the world's premier suppliers of animal-derived biological materials.

At the same time - to stay ahead of the game - it has been important for us to be innovative in developing new pharmaceuticals and biotechnology. In recent years, we've developed many new innovative products and techniques. An example is the world's first recombinant livestock vaccine, to combat sheep measles. We've developed crops which are virus and insect resistant. The world's first enteric bacteria-based bioinsecticide for the control of grass grubs was developed in New Zealand. We're world leaders in extracting lipids from milk and brain tissue. Our innovative products also include top quality human pharmaceuticals, registered for sale by our Ministry of Health under international agreements. The businesspeople here today will be able to give you far more examples than just these few.

This record of innovation means we have a great deal to offer the world in terms of biotechnology, pharmaceutical products and services, and research and development capabilities. Key companies involved in the industry have decided to work together to promote their products and services through this BIOTENZ group. It has the support of the New Zealand Government's official export promotion arm, Trade NZ. Already, the companies involved have been successful in markets such as Japan, Hong Kong SAR, Singapore, the USA and Europe. Now, they see further opportunities here in Asia.

We see markets here as having great potential. Biotechnology is predicted to be the technological revolution of the 21st Century and Asia - despite current difficulties - is the 21st Century region. There is a great deal of growth and development ahead in the Asian biotechnology, pharmaceutical and nutrition sectors. Our companies, like your companies, want to take advantage of that.

I see scope for us to work together. Many of you may see opportunities to become distributors for New Zealand's high quality products. For others, there could be advantages in working together through joint ventures. Our high quality products and services, combined with your knowledge of this marketplace, could well be a winning formula.

This seminar is an opportunity for us to get to know one another, and the products and services we have to offer each other. I'm confident your interest in today's events will be well rewarded. Let's do business.