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Tapping into more exports

Friday 4th August 2000

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Exporters are being offered encouragement to go for contracts from the big-spending Asian Development Bank (ADB).

Trade New Zealand is hosting three seminars to tell local construction, engineering and consulting companies about the opportunities offered by the giant bank to work on its projects.

Over the past five years the bank has approved $US31.1 billion in loans for over 300 projects.

It spent an average of $US160 million on consultancy services for its technical assistance projects.

The seminars will detail the procedures and guidelines the bank follows when awarding contracts as well as a chance to network with bank representatives.

Trade New Zealand sector manager Ross Graham said the bank contracts were an excellent opportunity for New Zealand businesses.

"About a dozen contracts are being won each year where New Zealand companies have the lead," Mr Graham said.

Other New Zealand companies participate in ADB contracts on a subcontractor basis in partnership with international firms.

"We can get more of this work," he said.

But local companies could aim for contracts other than consultancy.

About 95% of the $US31.1 billion in loans in the past five years was spent on goods, equipment and related services and 5% was spent on consultancy services.

But just about all New Zealand's work was in that 5% of consultancy, leaving 95% of the potential work which New Zealand was not tapping into.

In one example, Auckland consultant Laurie Slee won four ADB contracts this year, working in Fiji, Bangladesh, the Maldives and Kazakhstan.

* The one-day seminars are being held in Auckland (Aug 7), Wellington (Aug 9) and Christchurch (Aug 11).

- David Barber

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