"We don't get a lot of New Zealand firms giving Taiwan the attention and time it deserves because they're attracted by China, the big guy next door," says Dean Prebble, Director of the New Zealand Trade Development Centre in Taipei.
"The fact is China does offer more opportunity but it also carries greatly increased risk. It's easy to think of Taiwan as a developing country, but when you arrive here you find it is a very developed country with sophisticated consumers. It's good to test what we've got in a market like this."
Seven years after New Zealand's world-first Free Trade Agreement with China, there is a growing club of Kiwi companies that have cracked the market but few have found it easy going. The cultural, regulatory, bureaucratic and language barriers are high and a torture test of any firm's resources and adaptability.
In May ANZ NZ took a group of New Zealand food and beverage, education, engineering and forestry producers (along with three Australian companies) to Shanghai and Taipei, Taiwan, to see those markets first-hand. The week-long tour was an intense program of workshops with experts in the market, meetings with potential customers and contacts, visits to the frontlines of retail.