16-17 May 2016
ANZ Viaduct Events Centre, Viaduct Harbour
Auckland, New Zealand
Auckland is a modern, innovative world city
Auckland is a rapidly growing, multicultural city, with an internationally competitive and prosperous economy. It is New Zealand’s largest city and the country’s financial and economic powerhouse. It is a city of change and opportunity.
Auckland’s population is forecast to reach 2.5 million by 2040 and the regional workforce will be nearing 1 million by then, up from 790,000 in 2015. The average weekly personal income rose from $NZ844 to $927 in the five years to 2015.
Auckland is the ranked the third most liveable city in the world on the Mercer Quality of Living Survey 2015, a ranking it has held since 2010. It was also ranked in the Top 10 Cities to Visit in Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2014 guide, and was named the Friendliest City in the World by Condé Nast Traveler in 2014. Condé Nast also included Waiheke Island (a 40-minute ferry ride from downtown Auckland) on its Best Islands in the World list for 2015.
Auckland is home to 60 per cent of the country’s top 200 companies and is one of the world’s most business-friendly markets. New Zealand is ranked second among 189 countries in the World Bank Group’s 2015 Ease of Doing Business survey – as well as first in starting a business, registering property, getting credit, and protecting minority investors. It was third in dealing with construction permits.
Auckland is the heart of the country’s food and beverage processing and wholesaling, and film and television production – a combined annual injection of $6 billion to the regional economy.
In Auckland, more than 1000 food and beverage firms employ nearly 40,000 skilled people, and 85 per cent of these businesses are located within 15km of the city centre, the shipping port and the international airport.
More than 2 million international visitors arrive in Auckland each year and tourism contributes $6.5 billion a year to the regional economy. A record number of international students are choosing to study in Auckland, with 65,000 enrolling between January and August 2015.
Auckland is distinguished by its entrepreneurial spirit and is fast becoming an innovation hub of the Asia-Pacific region, with its high-tech businesses known for their early adoption of new technologies.
The GridAKL innovation precinct is the focal point of Auckland’s vibrant high-tech sector, which contributes more than $6 billion to the regional economy and makes up 55 per cent of New Zealand’s ICT gross domestic product. More than 6700 high-tech companies employ nearly 37,000 skilled workers, many from overseas.
Michael Davis, Head of London Unlimited at Jones Lang LaSalle and an international technology trends expert, says Australasia was lacking a global technology hub, and Auckland was better positioned to provide this than Melbourne or Sydney.
Davis says Auckland was poised to become the next city of emerging markets, with the potential to lead the Asia-Pacific region because of its appreciation not only of new technology, but also culture, arts, fashion and design.