As I See It : Xiaoying Fu

Xiaoying Fu is senior manager – Asia New Zealand Relationship Banking, ANZ National Bank

How would you describe the New Zealand identity?
I see New Zealanders as people who are becoming more and more willing to accept differences in their communities – which include culture, education, religion, sexual orientation, language and experiences. I would also say that New Zealanders are less constrained by traditions, and are open, diverse and creative. It’s very inclusive culture. I really enjoy living in New Zealand and am very proud to be New Zealander.

What will be our next major challenge?
I think the overall challenge for New Zealand is to make it through the recession, and to emerge in stronger position. Asia – both its people and its businesses – has been, and will continue to be very important influence on New Zealand, and I think it will be significant factor in New Zealand’s economic recovery. The task is for New Zealand to continue to find ways of accessing and leveraging the Asian market, and building the relationships required to take capitalise on
those opportunities.

What do we need to prepare ourselves for this?
We really need to understand and act on the potential that Asia offers. Within the Asian community, we need to share experiences and success stories. The forthcoming “Going Bananas Conference” (www.goingbananas.org.nz) provides an excellent platform for this.
Within organisations we need to create an environment that will give Asian people the opportunity to build their skills. The more experienced and skilled Asian staff in an organisation, the better they serve the local market, as well as bridging the cultural differences between New Zealand and Asia.
I personally really appreciate the opportunities that my employer, ANZ National Bank, has given me, especially in my new role in team dedicated to improving relationships with our Asian clientele.
In the business community, we see more and more Asian and New Zealand businesses partnering to explore Asia market. Doing business in Asia is very different from doing business in western countries. Asia is very relationship and network based – for New Zealand companies wanting to break into the market, it takes time to build relationship and find the right partner. So start building your relationship with Asian people and businesses now. It’s sometimes very surprising to find out who finally helped you to success.

Xiaoying Fu is speaker at this month’s Going Bananas Conference.

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