I heard Don Brash on National Radio in an interesting discussion about the 2025 Taskforce with Kathryn Ryan. Last weekend I read articles on the Malaysian FTA, yesterday I listened to Lord Patten speak at the Wellington Regional Chamber of Commerce on trade and FTAs amongst other matters. We appear to be making progress with our ambitions to eventually achieve FTAs with India and Japan.
Yet I must admit that whilst this is all very good, it will be for nought if NZ companies do not take advantage of the opportunities that present themselves. In that regard as I noted the other day there are some grounds for concern.
Thus it was with considerable interest that I read Bridget Liddell’s timely and relevant article in Thursday’s NZ Herald.
Her article begins:-
Short-term thinking is undermining the ability of New Zealand’s businesses to make a serious impact internationally.
Kind of gets your attention.
Rightly she identifies:-
Our most successful companies overseas build constituencies across every aspect of their business, including governance, management, branding and marketing, channel partnerships, funding partnerships, media, interest groups and communities, online and off. All these pieces of the networking puzzle combine to build significant equity value over time.
Patient cultivation of networks is also important in building shareholder value
The key thrust is that business should build equity value and have that as their key objective, rather than revenue growth. Note also the emphasis in the comment on networks on which she has some very useful comments elsewhere in the article.
I might be inferring too much from the article, but I thought Mrs Liddell suggests that many NZ companies do not prepare properly to expand overseas; coupled with a revenue/commodity mind set rather than a value based one.
I agree fully with her closing statement:-
Now is the time for our companies to get smart about pulling the strategic levers that generate long-term gains in the United States and around the world.
It is by taking account of the points made in this article that NZ companies could begin to close the gaps not just with Australia, but with other countries. Smarts, strategy and focus are most likely to aid achievement of the 2025 objective, not the tired nostrums of the past.