International players mine for opportunities at Mystery Creek

Over 4 days at National Fieldays, the International Business Centre (IBC) united New Zealand with global agribusinesses, traders and government officials.

The Centre featured 11 exhibitors from around the world including delegates from Australia, Korea, China, Germany and the United Kingdom.

Enterprise Ireland attended with a contingent of more than 30 trade and government representatives, including the Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation, Heather Humphreys. The first Irish Minister ever to attend Fieldays, Heather met with Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, Minister for Agriculture Damien O’Connor and the Minister for Trade and Export Growth David Parker.

The Irish Minister led 11 Enterprise Ireland client companies on the trade mission, which was focused on increasing Irish exports, forming partnerships between the similar agri-dominant nations and attracting investment from Kiwi companies to the Emerald Isle. New Zealand is also seen by the  EU member as a strategic gateway to the wider Asia-Pacific region.

Heather Humphreys says market diversification has never been more important than it is now, with Brexit on the horizon.

“Ireland and New Zealand have a long and very positive trade history, particularly in the agribusiness sector and our government is determined to build on that. We have similar agricultural markets with a common focus and challenges,” she says.

Niall Casey, Market Adviser – Agribusiness, Equine and Life Sciences for Enterprise Ireland, agreed that the similarities between New Zealand and Ireland are striking. “Our two small island nations are both heavily into agri-tech, are dairy based, manufacturing-led and our economic success depends on a strong outward focus.

“We were proud to once again be exhibiting the best of Irish agribusiness at Mystery Creek. It’s the international event we have attended for the longest time. This year we demonstrated a range in capability including slurry spreaders, feeder wagons, dairy parlour equipment, AI technology and grass toppers,” Niall says.

Now in their 13th year attending Fieldays, the team have a strong reciprocal partnership with the National Fieldays Society, which sees the NZNFS leadership team attend Ireland’s National Ploughing Championships in September.

The International Business Centre also allowed exhibitors to promote their products and developments to those from abroad, in particular the 400 registered international visitors.

A range of seminars, organised by Callaghan Innovation with support from New Zealand Trade and Enterprise, enlightened visitors on agri-tech innovations and international trade commentary such as The EU-New Zealand Free Trade Agreement and Geographical Indications.

Jim Grennell, manager of the IBC, says that overseas delegates were impressed to see New Zealand’s political leaders in attendance. The event and its partnerships across agri-business, trade and politics show our primary sector is in good health on the global stage.