New Zealand has a small chance to become the technology and film capital of the world because the world is positive about our pandemic response, but, experts say, we must act now.
With commendable response for the health crisis, and fewer new Covid-19 cases – on Saturday the Ministry of Health zero new cases confirmed and 95 percent of recovery – New Zealand, which has become an attractive destination for entrepreneurs, is more desirable than ever before, if we don’t waste the opportunity.
Particularly in the technology sector, where, although not immune from an economic downturn, the message is one of adaptability and resilience – that New Zealand has the infrastructure and ability to maximize its position, both as a place where innovation and entrepreneurs can thrive, and where international talent can search to set up camp.
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“A very wise person told me recently that this could be an opportunity for New Zealand to become a phoenix that rises from the ashes, if we use the opportunity properly,” Auckland businessman Dil Khosa said. “We made it through the health pandemic (and) we started by digitizing many of our sectors for efficiency and building new ways to enable technology to run our domestic industry.”
During the closing ceremony, Khosa, founder of Athena X Ventures, launched Breaking through the Pandemic, an online platform to help innovators connect and build skills. It has more than 80 registrations, from startups Khosa sure will one day “move the dial to the community”.
“There is no way out of it … Investors are certainly eager to move here, it’s a problem when they will be allowed to come and invest in our new company.”
Chief executive of Callaghan Innovation Vic Crone said the pandemic had “really” provided an opportunity “and we know from previous recessions that technology has played a real role in shaping organizations and the economy as they move forward”.
Its survey of 775 businesses shows that almost 60 percent think that a pandemic provides the possibility to speed up their work or take on new opportunities (40 percent report cash flow as their biggest barrier).
While the whole country has grappled with new scenarios of working from home, adapting their business to ensure online connectivity, Crone said technology has “sat there waiting for the revival rate to occur”.
“The challenge is cash. They need government support. They need investors to stay with them. [And] they need access to talent. “
Ministry of Business and Employment Innovation figures show that although NZ Immigration cannot process new visas, there is still a steady interest in, and application for, entrepreneurs, investors and visas for global impact. For eight weeks the confinement received 25 applications, with most for 2 visa category investors – experienced entrepreneurs with assets or funds of at least $ 3 million. Google records a surge of people seeking information about immigrating to New Zealand.
Yoseph Ayele, chief executive and co-founder of Edmund Hillary Fellowship, a program aimed at attracting and uniting entrepreneurs, investors and the novice team in New Zealand, said it had received nearly 500 applications between January and April, which included the top global entrepreneurs and investors want to move.
While Covid-19 is a “definite” contributor, ongoing interest in New Zealand is not just about viruses, he said. Covid-19 has created an environment where the economy can begin to shift to more productive models, which are “very attractive” to global entrepreneurs and investors.
New and innovative industries – including technology – will help transition the country to the next chapter, which will also help generate new types of economic activity, he said.
While sectors such as tourism and international education have displaced workers from work, there are opportunities to retrain people into new industries that can provide a more fulfilling life – industries with greater productivity, increased sustainability, and social footprint tall one.
People who work in the regions, for example, can get income at the city level with opportunities for agribusiness innovation, Ayele said. Elsewhere, blockchain technology can be utilized for opportunities in the financial technology sector.
“We need to invest in long-term, high-risk opportunities.”
International business consultant Phil O’Reilly said New Zealand had 90 days to capitalize on Covid’s free reputation.
This country already has a great reputation in the international world and this has made him excited.
But unless New Zealand immediately opens its borders, that opportunity will be in vain.
“Smart frontier” is the answer; that means a fast contact tracking system, and a sophisticated health check, both before departure and on arrival.
Officials have worked on the national contact tracing system and announcements will be known soon.
But the Government has issued a warning tone about reopening the border too soon; even the highly praised trans-Tasman “bubble” can go months, not weeks, to leave.
Max Olson, founder and chief executive of the 26-year-old FreightFish based in Whangārei, an aircraft carrier that offers high-speed shipping services using self-designed and self-made vessels, said “there is no question” the future of New Zealand is in tech, “but we still have a long way to go before we pursue Silicon Valley “.
Olson said, both local and foreign investment – largely uncertain at this time – would be the key to moving forward. But how New Zealand handles this virus can provide some optimism to international investors.
Money is only part of the problem: good governance, guidance and training will be needed. The jobs that Kiwi wants and wants are needed.
“There are many great talents coming to the labor market. Starting from that [need] labor might be able to take advantage [the situation] and taking workers who have fallen in these difficult times. “
Director of Taupo-based NuCleer, Gavin Watson, said while the pandemic has returned business for several months, there is a lot of interest in beginners who can get basic products.
“I think our future is in IP and the technology brain is successful, and not manufacturing [products] self. We have a good track record as an innovator country, but it is too difficult to compete [with manufacturing] on a large scale, especially in global markets with high labor costs and our geographical distance. “
Focusing ahead must quickly get designs to market. “New Zealand has a pretty good record with innovation, but also a large failure rate [product] to the market.”
Atrax Group managing director Kevin Maurice agreed. While Atrax is far from the start – he’s been in business for more than 30 years – the company’s airport luggage and cargo scale is among the most sought after in the world. He said there was a silver lining for New Zealand, but we had to support ourselves: “Sometimes it’s easier to sell abroad, and then you gain credibility in New Zealand.”
The chief executive of New Zealand Business, Kirk Hope, hopes for the future. He believes there is renewed interest in New Zealand as a destination for film producers, businessmen and international students.
This week the New Zealand Film Commission boss, chief executive Annabelle Sheehan, said he was in discussions with “many different international studios” including US films and streaming services.
Weta Digital is at work Avatars sequel, with Lord of the Ring and several Netflix projects to be released later this year, and new projects given to the post-lockdown studio gave him cautious optimism to move forward.
“We see this in increasing the number of meetings we set with film producers who want to make their films in a number of formats, including some filmmakers who previously did not consider Weta Digital or New Zealand as a potential solution,” executive producer David Conley said.
“This conversation has substantially increased in volume because producers see New Zealand and its supporting infrastructure to be one of the few places around the world that can be safely opened for production.”
Encouragement for the film industry can add to other people’s costs such as hospitality, construction and catering, he said, and the inspiration of seeing the New Zealand scene on the big screen can also accelerate the number of visitors.
Border boundaries present difficulties, which producers want to overcome, but there are also challenges in maintaining, growing, and modernizing screen infrastructure with support from local and central government.
“New Zealand has a window of opportunity to build on what will be an increase in content production worldwide. Our industry cannot afford to lose the expertise that has arisen over the past two decades as a result of economic friction.”
Hope says New Zealand’s opportunities for growth now, and points to the benefits of some of the technology infrastructure that has been invested in which has helped us get out of turbulent times – ultra fast broadband, for example.
He said it was important that to maximize opportunities, the New Zealand digital divide was closed, that the border was safely reopened for skilled workers who could be quarantined, and Kiwi’s digital skills were “turbo boosted”.
“But I think the point I’m making is that we are in a better position to deal with the crisis than before. Many people move to New Zealand because of our lifestyle and given that we have managed public health crisis, we can continue to have enough lifestyle good – they come from areas where their lifestyle is more complicated. ”
Memia’s director, Ben Reid, in his previous capacity as administrator of the Artificial Intelligence forum, encouraged officials to look for technology long before the pandemic saw the country close. For the Productivity Commission’s inquiry into the future of jobs, he expressed the traditional fear that technology would replace jobs that needed to be defeated by the belief that it would create them.
He said the current climate was “a great opportunity” to export weightless services that did not require people to cross borders. While the technology sector is not immune to recession – cash flow can be a problem – it sees time as a potential economic boon.
“We have a healthy and thriving technology sector that basically can open businesses in foreign markets, in New Zealand. We are now even more attractive to work because we have a functioning economy, we won’t have any disruptions for years. We can attract talent. People love to do business with Kiwis. We have some of the smartest people in the world. ”
The challenge is taking advantage of opportunities, training people who have the potential to find themselves considering a new career can find a job or training for themselves in technology.
“We really need to think very carefully about what our future will look like, and it will not move products from one end of the country to the other, it will be about creating weightless, intellectual property services, and selling them to the market. overseas. ”
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