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The Kiwi Chamber
The Kiwi Chamber continues to go from strength to strength with newly appointed Chairman Dr. Tony Garrett voted into the position last October 2015. Six months into his tenure, Tony is optimistic about the future and is even more confident about what this year’s Kiwi Chamber events will bring.
The Chamber has many objectives but one particular aim stands out: communication. Established to foster connections between New Zealand and Korea in all walks of life, the Kiwi Chamber has continued to succeed in their mission year after year. With keystone events including the annual wine festival and the Grand Hui, whether a New Zealand alumnus, Korean business partner or Kiwi friend, the chamber has all bases covered.
There is no denying that 2015 was a busy year for any New Zealander in Korea. The chairman refers to his predecessor Simon Walsh when remembering the feats of last year. Reflecting upon the Kiwi Chamber’s achievements with pride, it was a busy year for New Zealand with the Rugby World Cup, the Korea-New Zealand Free Trade Agreement (FTA) and the usual premiere events which kept the chamber constantly in the Korean community spotlight these last twelve months.
Fast forward to 2016, and a more relaxed approach to events are planned with the annual wine festival a fitting end to the forthcoming New Zealand Food Week taking place in late May. In addition to the Grand Hui in October, the Chamber has also been working on establishing further networking events to build relationships between New Zealanders and Koreans who have the country in common.
The Kiwi Chamber have also been firm supporters as the sister partner of a new independent organization, The Kiwi Alumni group which has been launched in the last year to help keep in contact those who have educational links to New Zealand – be it completing a degree or a short language course. Additionally, the Chamber also facilitate smaller Huis – or meetings – are arranged for members to attend and converse on Fridays, and Tony stresses that these are open events for all nationalities, bringing New Zealanders together with others.
The Kiwi Chamber also lends a helping hand in supporting two charities. Every April, the Kiwi Chamber joins other New Zealand and Australian businesses, individuals, Embassies and Korean War Veterans Associations in awarding scholarships to middle and high school students in Gapyeong where the two countries’ troops fought significant battles during the Korean War. These scholarships support the children’s education through the payment of special fees, and the purchase of books, materials, uniforms and sports equipment. Their other main charity, Songjukwon, a female orphanage in Seoul, receives help and support from the Chamber and partner, the ANZ Bank, in fun days, educational talks and scholarship ventures.
Tony reiterates that this year will be an education for the Chamber as they establish and develop upon the initial FTA agreement from last year and also continue to promote their successful networking events and workshops like the Kiwi Chamber’s Friday meet-ups to assist, facilitate and support locals and their connections to New Zealand.
The Kiwi Chamber is welcome support for any individual, business or friend looking to create or maintain New Zealand and Korea relations. So come and enjoy the Kiwi spirit and enjoy the Kia Ora of the country right here in Korea.
For more Chamber News and Events:
Kiwi Chamber: www.kiwichamber.com.
New Zealand Food Week
New Zealand Food Week, run by New Zealand Trade and Enterprise (NZTE), takes place at the end of May. A series of New Zealand targeted Food and Promotional initiatives promises to showcase some the country’s best food and beverages. More than 30 companies have been invited to exclusive trade exhibitions, networking events and business seminars to bring together a number of high-quality food and beverage producers, distributors and other professionals. NZTE’s Trade Commissioner Ryan Freer is excited to see the first New Zealand Food Connection events arrive post-FTA ratification in Seoul on May 24 and Busan on May 26. With seminars planned and the NZTE’s support on hand, the Food Week hopes to encapsulate the spirit of the recent trade agreement which promises to bring more New Zealand produce to Korea and vice versa. With tariffs removed from New Zealand wine at the end of last year and plans to bring more dairy produce from New Zealand into Korea, the food connection events can only provide healthy competition for more Kiwi goods to arrive on our supermarket shelves shortly. As Ryan comments, “I’m delighted that more and more Koreans, and Korea’s expat communities, are enjoying the best of New Zealand’s high quality food and beverage”. The NZTE’s New Zealand Food Week will conclude with the Wine Festivals in Busan in May and Seoul in June.
The New Zealand Wine Festival
The Kiwi Chamber hosts their annual New Zealand Wine Festival in Seoul and Busan this May and June. The first of the events will take place at Park Hyatt Busan’s Grand Ballroom on May 28 and then reach Seoul on June 4 at the Waterfall Garden of the Grand Hyatt, Seoul.
The festival is one of the Kiwi Chamber’s long-established events, now entering its fourth year in Busan and an impressive eighth outing to the capital. This year’s event is even more special, marking the first festival since the Korea-New Zealand FTA came into effect in December 2015, bringing with it a removal of all tariffs on New Zealand wine.
Both New Zealand Wine Festivals will see more than 80 wines on offer for enthusiasts. Bringing together both red and white wines from over 25 different participating vineyards, the celebration will provide guests with the Marlborough region’s Sauvignon Blanc, Hawke Bay’s Chardonnay and Martinborough’s Pinot Noir amongst others. Wine lovers can also enjoy the different blends of New Zealand’s other distinctive grape-growing regions with choice tastings between finer vintages and newer offerings.
Billed as the Kiwi Chamber’s most popular annual event, the festival is open to both members and guests who would like to experience the best of New Zealand. Between the tastings of some top wines from the country, a complementing New Zealand-themed BBQ buffet in Seoul (and tapas buffet in Busan) will also bring the tastes of the Land of the Long White Cloud to the festival. Traditional dishes enjoyed in the outdoor party atmosphere will undoubtedly bring a slice of Kiwi party traditions to the peninsula.
As previous years, the festivals will hold an attractive raffle, with prizes including a generous return ticket to New Zealand (courtesy of Singapore Airlines), wine giveaways and many other prizes from the festival sponsors.
The New Zealand Wine Festival will be ending the preceding New Zealand Food Week taking place in each city prior to the event. Head to Busan or Seoul for a few hours of Kiwi culture and open your heart to the Land of the Long White Cloud.
More info: The New Zealand Wine Festival takes place in Busan and in Seoul.
Busan: May 28, 6.30pm-10.30pm. Grand Ballroom, Park Hyatt Hotel, Busan
Seoul: June 4, 2pm-6pm. Waterfall Garden, Grand Hyatt Seoul.
Cost: KRW 80,000 (members) / KRW 100,000 (non-members)