On 12 September Nigel Stirling and Bernard Banks hosted an ASEAN function at our Wellington office. The evening was organised and conducted by ASEAN NZ Business Council through Bernard Banks (Laos chapter chair), Mahi Tangarae (Vietnam chapter chair), and David Catty (council member). The 28 attendees were welcomed by Nigel. He mentioned Gibson Sheat’s links with the Asian region, including former partner Tim Anderson who is NZTE trade commissioner to Jakarta, Bernard's extensive roles in the region, our immigration team, his own recent trip to Vietnam on Air NZ’s inaugural direct flight from Auckland to Ho Chi Minh City, and the subsequent presentation on "Doing Business in NZ" as part of Minister Stephen Joyce's trade delegation breakfast programme in Vietnam.
This event was the first in an ongoing ASEAN NZ Business Council dialogue. It featured local and overseas participants from the four smaller Mekong nations - ‘CLMV’: Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam. There was a short address from Dr Farib Sos of the Asia Forum, then an interactive 'round table' discussion about migrants' experiences of arrival, settlement, education, and establishing businesses in New Zealand, and challenges, tips and opportunities for doing business in these Mekong countries. This different format gave opportunities to hear perspectives from local and overseas CLMV people who do not often get to share their views and experiences.
Participants then enjoyed informal networking and Gibson Sheat hospitality. It was a different and successful event and reinforced Gibson Sheat’s major role in the ASEAN NZ Business Council in Wellington, and our range of interests and involvements in the region.