Author: Author: Yan Zhang, Investment Consultant

COVID-19 is a global crisis. The whole world is in the same boat.

As an economic development agency, Auckland Unlimited has had to adapt to a new normal: understanding and responding to the needs of the business communities, and helping them turn crisis into opportunity.

Before the pandemic, we were focused on helping overseas investors find their feet and develop in New Zealand, both proactively and responsively. Many of these traditional geographic resources dried up after January 2020.

We had to find new strategies to help businesses hold their ground in the short term and be ready for economic recovery and development in the medium term.

Here are some of the ways we have adjusted our focus and approach since the lockdown last year, creating positive outcomes for businesses in the economic realities of a new normal.  

Increased collaboration to deliver trade and investment assistance

Investment and trade go hand in hand. Trade drives investment, and investment enhances trade. It’s a natural path to business growth.

Funds are often allocated to growing a business’s domestic and international markets. The right value-add investments can lift business performance to another level. This is still true under the current conditions, but investors have become more cautious and more demanding before committing. A demonstration of business growth from restructured domestic and international market strategy as reflected from the balance sheet could help in the investment decision-making process. It makes forecasts more convincing, too. 

Collaboration between domestic and international market development experts, along with our business advisory team’s experience and insight in helping businesses get government funds and support, speeds and enhances the process.

Identifying opportunities based on capabilities rather than geographic origins

Under this new normal, many cross-border investments have been put on hold; meanwhile, our businesses are experiencing a pressing need for investment funds to add value to their offerings. 

Since last year, we’ve concentrated on introducing investment opportunities to strong prospects: domestic investors, existing inbound investors, and selected overseas resources with professional methodology. We have looked beyond traditional geographic sources of investment in order to respond to business needs with available resources. 

Domestic and existing inbound investors have responded well to professionally presented investment-ready opportunities. For example, a cutting-edge e-vehicle technology is being seriously considered by an existing major inbound investor; a green economy project is being considered by domestic investors; assistance in a game-changing tourism investment has strategically made good use of time during the pandemic to prepare for the next industry surge; and strong overseas investment interests in a series of innovative greenfield projects with high yields have been well nurtured. Sustaining strong working relationships and a high level of trust with domestic and existing inbound investors contributed to this model. 

Providing the informed guidance investors want

Investors look for informed guidance on issues such as compliance, risk management, governance, and insights into opportunities relevant to all the above when they walk into a different financial and legal regime. 

In recent years Auckland Unlimited has invested in new resources to provide this guidance. Our informed assistance is highly valued by both inbound investors and local businesses, as it saves resources for all relevant parties across all stages of business development.

This has become even more critical under the new normal. Business acumen and knowledge are powerful reassurance factors that can unlock more opportunities for local businesses and investors. 

We’ve also dedicated more effort to SMEs, which are in the forefront of the economic recovery and are better matched with local New Zealand investment resources, with both sides having shared interests and value propositions. This applies across different sectors and subsectors where businesses are on a faster track for diversification.

While the times are undeniably challenging, we’ve found that even a crisis like COVID-19, if properly handled, can generate opportunities and take business outcomes to another level.

Find out more

Contact Investment Specialist Yan Zhang to learn more about investing in Auckland, New Zealand.

DISCLAIMER:This article provides general information on potential investment opportunities in Auckland and is not intended to be used as a substitute for financial advice. The views and opinions expressed are those of the relevant author, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Auckland Unlimited. Auckland Unlimited disclaims all liability in connection with any action that may be taken in reliance on this article, and for any error, deficiency, flaw or omission contained in it.