Northland businesses were on show yesterday as 80 diplomatic representatives and government officials explored the region to discover what Northland has to offer.
On a tour organised by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT), the diplomatic corps enjoyed a one day stopover in Whangarei, before moving on to Waitangi for annual celebrations.
Northland Inc -the regional economic development agency - was invited by MFAT to share the diversity, innovation and creativity of Northland businesses with the diplomats at a mini-business-expo last night.
During the expo at the Whangarei town basin hub, members of the diplomatic corps were schooled up on the Northland economy and interacted with eight Northland export companies.
CEO David Wilson said Northland Inc saw the event as a great opportunity to showcase the diversity of Northland exporters and to put innovative Northland businesses in front of influential diplomats who can provide access to large networks in their respective countries.
“They have all shown a unique approach to business, a willingness to innovate and grow and have all expressed a desire to maximize their export potential beyond business as usual.”
Acting Dean of the travelling diplomatic core Argentinian Ambassador Fernando Escalona said he was awestruck by the beauty of the district and equally impressed by the diversity of businesses with export potential tucked away in the north.
Ambassador Escalona said he felt lucky to be returning to the north after recently spending a summer holiday in Whangarei and the Bay of Islands with his family.
“I love it here! We spent long hours at the beach, until dark most days, and we sometimes found it hard to find a restaurant after staying so long at your beautiful beaches, although Reva’s and the Parua Bay Tavern came to the rescue. Matapouri is a very special place for us.
“On my bucket list is the Poor Knights. Your region has so many beautiful things on offer and I can’t wait to return to explore more. We will be back.”
Deputy Mayor for Whangarei Sharon Morgan said the opportunity to put local businesses in front of the diplomatic corps was priceless.
“The event is an exciting opportunity to display the innovation, creativity, enthusiasm, and diversity in our district and region. During this brief interaction we have seen connections made and a genuine interest in Northland products. Its exciting stuff and we look forward to having the group back next year.”