New Zealand needs to promote technology sector

Photography by: Nazar Abbas Photography/Moments/Getty Images

While sectors such as tourism and education have been promoted over the decades, it’s time for New Zealand to look at its technology sector

Although New Zealand is known for its tourism, education, beef and lamb, high-quality food products, and other primary exports, the country’s technology innovation and digital products are not as well-known, NZTech and FinTechNZ chair and Augen Software Group director Mitchell Pham says.

He says that it’s when Kiwis are in Asia and ask locals about New Zealand, it’s "highly unlikely" that someone would mention technology.

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"I want to see New Zealand technology promoted to the world just as we have made a huge effort over the past 20 years to globally feature tourism in this country," he says.

"As a technology entrepreneur who has travelled extensively throughout Asia, the lack of knowledge of Kiwi tech ingenuity is a constant frustration for me. There's no place in the Asian region where I can use the NZ Inc. brand to help position a tech business as being from a well-known high-tech export nation.

"This is why NZTech is actively working to develop the NZ Tech Story in collaboration with Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, New Zealand Trade and Enterprise, and New Zealand Story to add being a high-tech nation as an integral part of the story we tell the world about ourselves. We can all participate and add to the development of the story via the NZ Tech Story Forum on LinkedIn.

He adds that although New Zealand has worked towards promoting education and tourism, it’s now time to make an investment in promoting the technology sector—New Zealand’s third largest export industry and the fastest growing sector.

"NZ Techweek next year will be a huge opportunity to promote tech. International tech people will come to attend our events, and we want to put NZ on the world tech map. Bringing together hundreds of events into the same week is better than spreading them across the calendar. The sheer number of Kiwis who come out to attend the events will also show critical mass and attract attention," Mitchell says.

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