Singapore draws New Zealand startups with fintech boom
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Singapore draws New Zealand startups with fintech boom

Common goals and strategic location drive NZ expansion into Singapore.

As Singapore's fintech sector continues to boom, it is increasingly attracting startups from New Zealand, eager to tap into its dynamic market. Maggie Christie, Trade Commissioner at New Zealand Trade and Enterprise (NZTE), recently discussed the mutual benefits and challenges associated with such expansions.

"What makes Singapore very fascinating for New Zealand FinTech and New Zealand tech per se," Christie said, "is that Singapore and New Zealand have a lot of commonalities." 

Both nations are small, advanced, and heavily reliant on exports for economic growth. Singapore's strategic location, access to Southeast Asia, and its pool of talent make it "a perfect landing pad for New Zealand FinTech companies to visit and to grow."

Christie highlighted the typical hurdles faced by foreign companies, emphasising the importance of understanding both the local culture and government priorities. "It's that challenge that how do New Zealand companies understand not only the culture here and the needs, but also deeply understand where the government is focusing," Christie explained. The Singapore government's initiatives, such as the Green Plan and their AI strategy, are key areas that New Zealand companies need to align with to find success.

To support New Zealand companies in overcoming these obstacles, NZTE plays a crucial role. Christie outlines the support system in place: "We like to call it know-how and know who." 

NZTE aids companies in understanding how to do business in Singapore and identifying the right partners. This includes providing insights, conducting research, and leveraging local advisors and business development managers who have an in-depth understanding of the market.

Christie also highlights the intrinsic collaborative nature of both countries, which can lead to mutually beneficial partnerships. "New Zealand is a country that sees tomorrow first, literally. And we're a country that innovates and wants to work with partners," she noted. Singapore's receptiveness to international collaborations makes it an ideal partner, "together, we can create benefits that help both countries."

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