Technology - it's the nation's third largest export industry and fastest growing sector of our economy, so it's about time New Zealand seriously started to invest in promoting it.
That's according to Mitchell Pham, NZTech and FinTechNZ chair and Augen Software Group director.
Pham says when Kiwis in Asia ask locals what they know about New Zealand, they generally say tourism, education, dairy, beef and lamb, high-quality food products and other primary exports, but never technology.
He says it's highly unlikely that technology innovation or digital products would even be mentioned, even though New Zealand is home to thousands of world class tech companies.
“I want to see New Zealand technology promoted to the world just as we have made a huge effort over the past 20 years to globally feature tourism in this country.
Pham adds, “As a technology entrepreneur who has travelled extensively throughout Asia, the lack of knowledge of Kiwi tech ingenuity is a constant frustration for me. There's no place in the Asian region where I can use the NZ Inc. brand to help position a tech business as being from a well-known high-tech export nation.
Pham explains that NZTech is actively working to develop the NZ Tech Story, which will aim to promote New Zealand as a high-tech nation, as an integral part of the story we tell the world about ourselves.
NZTech will collaborate with Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, New Zealand Trade and Enterprise and New Zealand Story.
“We can all participate and add to the development of the story via the NZ Tech Story Forum on LinkedIn.
“New Zealand has invested heavily in promoting education and tourism for decades, which is why we are so well known in Asia for these industries,” Pham continues
“It's time we make an on-going investment into promoting our fastest growing sector of our economy. The sooner the better, as it will take time to build the brand association between NZ and high-tech nation.
In addition to this, NZ Techweek is another opportunity to promote the nation's technology.
“International tech people will come to attend our events and we want to put NZ on the world tech map. Bringing together hundreds of events into the same week is better than spreading them across the calendar,” he adds
“We should also work smartly by tapping into relevant networks that are available to us.
Pham concludes, “High-value and high-trust networks are full of influencers and connectors, so they are good channels to push the NZ tech story, such as KEA, New Zealand Asian Leaders (NZAL), ASEAN-NZ Business Council and similar networks connected in New Zealand and Asia.