A group of Thai innovators will be visiting New Zealand this month to learn about New Zealand's technology developments.
The group of four entrepreneurs will visit the country from November 9-16, as part of the ASEAN Young Business Leaders Initiative (YBLI), which is managed by the Foundation for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade in New Zealand.
The group includes entrepreneurs from Pinion, FlowAccount, Hubba and people². They will meet representatives from Xero and Vend, which will teach them more about New Zealand's tech sector, learn about the Auckland and Christchurch tech ecosystems, attend tech event SingularityU.
They will reconnect with their Kiwi counterparts - the five entrepreneurs who travelled to Thailand in 2015, as well as members of the Asia New Zealand Foundation Leadership Network.
“The Foundation took a group of Kiwi tech entrepreneurs to Thailand in 2015, so it's great to reciprocate this year and take advantage of the strong connections formed at that time," says Adam McConnochie, ASEAN Young Business Leaders Initiative project manager.
McConnochie believes that the visit will be an important opportunity to meet with entrepreneurs with global experience in technology.
"Tareef Jafferi has lectured on entrepreneurship at MIT – and all have lived and worked in other countries, including India, Singapore and the United States. Their visit will really consolidate these connections and better connect New Zealand to the fast-growing Southeast Asia tech scene," he says.
The visiting Thai entrepreneurs are:
- Kittichai Phiphatbunyarat (Jeng), CEO and co-founder of telco start-up Pinion
- Kridsada Chutinaton, CEO and co-founder of FlowAccount, a cloud accounting solution
- Phornthepsingh Thakral (Puneet), head of innovation and chief operating officer for Hubba, a co-working space for entrepreneurs and innovators
- Tareef Jafferi, founder and CEO, of people², a workplace messaging tool
Thailand and New Zealand have a two-way trade agreement worth $2.6 billion, mostly in goods trade however the services sector is growing. Thailand is also New Zealand's 10th largest trading partner and is also the largest source of overseas students from Southeast Asia.
The ASEAN YBLI has facilitated visits by more than 60 business leaders from Southeast Asia, furthering business connections and trade links. Last year the initiative was reciprocal. New Zealand has currently helped 16 Kiwi entrepreneurs visit Thailand.