East Asia Market Realities

05 March 2018 - 07 March 201802:00 AM-09:09 AM

Auckland masterclass: 5 March 2018     0830 - 1530 
Christchurch masterclass:   7 March 2018 0830 - 1530
Nelson masterclass: 8 March 2018 0830 - 1430


Market Realities East Asia is an invitation-only masterclass in growing food and beverage businesses in the dynamic East Asia region. Navigate your way to success with insights from local experts and our external advisors.  

This one-day event will give you access to new research, war stories and best practice, and enable you to make valuable on-the-ground connections to fast track your growth journey. 

Home to 800 million people with a combined GDP of US$10 trillion (one-eighth of the world’s GDP), East Asia is one of the world’s top markets for food and beverage.

Why attend?

  • Hear from local experts in Malaysia, Singapore, Philippines, Indonesia, Viet Nam, Japan, South Korea and Thailand.
  • Learn from NZTE’s external advisors with decades of expertise in this market.
  • Get our most in-depth research to date on the food and beverage landscape in East Asia – including shopper demographics, shopper drivers, and who controls food and beverage trade.
  • Find out about opportunities and challenges other New Zealand food and beverage businesses have faced.

Am I eligible?

This is an invitation-only event for NZTE Build and Focus customers who are exporting to East Asia. If you would like to attend and have not received an invitation, please talk to your NZTE Customer Manager. 

The agenda for all three masterclasses is as follows:

Planned schedule
Registration – tea and coffee will be available on arrival
Group presentations with East Asia market experts
Network over morning tea
Group presentations with East Asia market experts
Q&A session
 Network over a catered lunch
 1:1 meetings and small group sessions


We are pleased to be partnering with local marketing and e-commerce experts for the Market Realities: East Asia events. 


Maree Wilson, Partner, Baldwin Boyle Group 

Maree WIlson 

Maree is a Partner at Baldwin Boyle Group, which provides independent strategic communications advice to organisations across Asia-Pacific to help them build and protect their reputation with all key stakeholders. 

Over the past decade, she has worked across a diverse range of sectors including agribusiness, energy, manufacturing, FMCG, infrastructure and professional services.

Maree is passionate about helping companies tackle complex communication challenges and her key skill is her ability to create compelling strategic plans that align communication closely to business objectives. She is an experienced practitioner of media relations, issues management, stakeholder engagement, internal communications and C-level communication in China, South East Asia, Australia and New Zealand.

Maree holds a BA in Political Science and Media Studies with first-class honours from Victoria University of Wellington. She speaks French and is studying Mandarin.

Read more about Baldwin Boyle Group

Pier Smulders, Lazada 

Pier Smulders

Pier Smulders is Business Development Director New Zealand at Alibaba. As part of the International Business Team, he works across Alibaba Group’s e-commerce ecosystem. His specific role is focused on building the business in New Zealand.

Previously he was Chief Executive of Christchurch-based Star Media, a diversified New Zealand media group involved in regional newspapers; local and national magazines; regional television broadcasting and the production of major events.

Pier is a Dutch and New Zealand national who grew up in Asia and Europe and moved to New Zealand in 2004 after working in various roles in Asia, Europe and the USA. He holds a BA from Brown University and an MBA from Harvard Business School.

Learn about Lazada


Meet the members of our global team from Malaysia, Singapore, Philippines, Indonesia, Viet Nam, Japan, South Korea and Thailand, who will be presenting their insights at the Market Realities: East Asia events.


Craig Armstrong, Customer Director


Craig leads one of NZTE's team of customer managers in Auckland.  

Before joining NZTE in 2007, he was managing director of a boutique consultancy that he set up in Melbourne to provide strategy, marketing and commercialisation resources to blue chip and start-up companies, and also to private equity clients. 

He has also held various positions at board, financial and marketing management levels at a number of leading manufacturing and food and beverage companies such as Heinz, Cadbury Schweppes, and Lion Nathan.

Craig Pettigrew, Trade Commissioner


Craig was appointed New Zealand’s Trade Commissioner to Japan in August 2016. 

He has held a number of senior management roles in the public and private sectors focused on growing business in the East Asia region, most recently at Asahi Premium Beverages and The Better Drinks Company. 

He has a long connection to Japan, having worked in Tokyo previously for NZTE, Air New Zealand and Tourism New Zealand. 

Craig was a founding member of the New Zealand Food and Grocery Council Export Advisory Group and also a member of the Executive Committee of the Japan New Zealand Business Council. 

As Trade Commissioner to Japan, Craig is based in Tokyo.



Simon Hearsey, Trade Commissioner

Simon Hearsey 

Based in Kuala Lumpur, Simon oversees NZTE's activities in Malaysia and Brunei.

He is responsible for facilitating and promoting trade and investment and maintaining an extensive network of business relationships relevant to New Zealand businesses across Malaysia.

Simon joined NZTE in 2016 as a Customer Manager, supporting New Zealand companies to grow internationally. In early 2017 he stepped into the role of Acting Trade Commissioner in Singapore. 

Prior to this he held a series of senior roles at DB Breweries. 

Simon has a Master of Business Administration from Massey University and a Bachelor of Physical Education with First Class Honours in Cardiac Rehabilitation from Otago University.


Giang Nguyen, Business Development Manager

Giang Nguyen is NZTE’s Business Development Manager for food and beverage in Viet Nam, and is based in Ho Chi Minh City. A skilled marketing and sales manager with business development experience and strong commercial acumen, she has over 15 years of management experience. 

Before joining NZTE, Giang worked for more than 10 years in the beverage and retail sector and for over 5 years in human resources consultancy – with proven success in supporting business growth and brand development across these different roles. She has also previously worked and lived in Shanghai, China for two and a half years.

Giang holds an MBA, awarded through study at Viet Nam’s National Economic University and Washington State University in the United States. She also holds professional certifications in marketing, human resources and workforce management training. 

Jack Stenhouse, Trade Commissioner, South Korea

Jack Stenhouse is the Trade Commissioner for South Korea. Based in Seoul, he is responsible for facilitating and promoting trade and investment and maintaining an extensive network of business relationships relevant to New Zealand businesses.

Before joining NZTE in 2015, Jack worked in Seoul for a business development consultancy specialising in representing international companies in the Korean market. 

In his most recent role with NZTE he worked as a Business Development Manager in Seoul, helping New Zealand food and beverage companies to grow their exports in South Korea. 

Jack has a BCommerce in Management and a Bachelor of Arts in Political Studies from Otago University, and a Bachelor of Arts with First Class Honours in International Relations from Victoria University.

Jane Tantakhom, Business Development Manager, NZTE Thailand

Jane is NZTE’s Business Development Manager for food and beverage in Thailand, and is based in Bangkok.

Jane has made a career in the food industry. She began working with United States Potato Board, Thailand representative office, working to educate and increase consumption of US potatoes in different channels. Later she joined Unilever South East Asia regional office, based in Singapore, as a Regional Assistant Brand. There she covered different markets, including Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, Viet Nam, Indonesia and Myanmar.  

As part of her study and work, she has lived and worked in different countries in Europe, Asia and the US. Jane graduated with a first class honour in Liberal Arts (British and American studies) at Thammasat University in Thailand. She went on to earn a Masters Degree in European Business from École supérieure de commerce de Paris (ESCP Europe), where she studied in London and Paris.

She is currently pursuing an Executive MBA at SASIN School of Management in Bangkok.

Jeidy Ng, Business Development Manager, Singapore

Jeidy Ng joined NZTE’s Singapore team in 2014 - bringing more than twenty years of experience in the food and beverage and fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) segments.

Jeidy has previously worked with multinationals including Nestle, Fonterra, Cerebos and Frasers & Neaves, across Singapore and Malaysia. She successfully launched new products in Singapore for a market-leading brand, and managed a portfolio of brands to maintain year-on-year growth.

Jeidy’s expertise includes business development, brand management, new product development, project management, path-to-market strategy, and quality assurance. She has successfully helped New Zealand companies to establish and grow their business in Singapore through high-quality introductions, strategic advice, market intelligence and business planning assistance.

Jeidy loves to travel and enjoys good food and wine, which made New Zealand a great draw! She describes herself as a simple, down-to-earth but adventurous person, always looking to broaden her horizons and meet new people.

Mica Guevara, Business Development Manager, the Philippines

Mica Guevara joined NZTE’s Manila team in November 2015 as a BDM responsible for the food and beverage and manufacturing sectors. More recently she has extended her focus to cover wood, government-to-government (G2G) and defence. 

Mica obtained her Bachelor of Science degree in Agricultural Economics at the University of the Philippines, where she acquired skills in practical economic research. She went on to work for several foreign trade offices over the next fifteen years, and developed a strong understanding of marketing and business issues, especially in water, food and agriculture.

Mica has an established network with local companies, trade associations and government agencies, and has strong experience in organising trade missions, seminars, visit programmes and exhibitions. She has demonstrated capacity in producing research reports and assessments to support foreign companies in finding opportunities in-market.

Mica spends her free time cooking and travelling with friends. She always sees the glass as half-full, and enjoys taking up new and exciting adventures.

Poh Poh Tam, Business Development Manager, Malaysia 

Poh Poh Tam has been working for NZTE for six years, and specialises in the food and beverage, health supplement and skincare industries. She has more than 12 years’ experience in business development and working with start-ups, and is a strong believer in passion and focus as the keys to success.

Trained as an archaeochemist, Poh Poh decided to leave laboratory work for a business development career. Her first role was with an online tertiary education business in Penang, where she became the top sales performer in the region within two months. 

Poh Poh completed an MBA major in Strategic Management form Maastricht University, with a near-miss distinction due to a controversial thesis on Nokia – specifically, examining how NTT Japan would shape Asian mobile trends and leave Nokia behind. At that time it was inconceivable that Nokia would slip from its standing as the world’s top mobile brand, to become a follower in the sector eight years later.

Poh Poh has held multiple management roles in venture capital, food and beverage portfolio management, and the fashion business. A large part of her job scope has included problem solving and turnaround strategy.

Shintaro Nakamua, Business Development Manager, Japan 

Shintaro Nakamura is NZTE’s Business Development Manager for food and beverage in Japan, and is based in Tokyo. His areas of specialty include seafood, aquaculture and wine.

Before joining NZTE, Shintaro worked for Japanese seafood company, Nissui (co-investor of Sealord) in their Cooperate Strategic Division, and he has also worked for Mitsubishi Trust bank as Private Equity assistant fund manager.

Shintaro comes from a family of fishmongers, and is the 18th generation of his family to work in the fish trade. While working for NZTE he has helped New Zealand companies double their exports of oysters to Japan in just two years. 

Shintaro holds an MBA from Nyenrode Business Universiteit‎ in Netherlands. 

Viona Ong, Business Development Manager, Indonesia 

Viona Ong joined NZTE’s Jakarta team in July 2017, taking up a BDM role for the food and beverage sector.

Before joining NZTE, Viona worked with Heineken where she was posted to markets including Singapore, Laos and Indonesia. Her responsibilities included managing Heineken’s beer brand portfolio for the Asia-Pacific region, launching new brands, and brand-building through activations, promotions and digital. 

Under Viona’s leadership, Heineken’s brand portfolio and sales performance in Laos went from below target to 10% above target in 2015. She also led the Heineken brand to double-digit growth in Indonesia in 2016, after a previous three years of volume decline.

 Viona holds degrees in computer science and international management, gained through study at Indonesian and French universities. She has also worked previously for global paints and coatings company Akzonobel, holding roles in research and event management, as well as establishing their CRM system for the Indonesian market.

Coming from a commercial and software engineering background, Viona enjoys a mix of brainstorming ideas to explore possibilities and solve complex problems. She’s a lifelong learner and gets excited with tackling a variety of projects.


Get tips for successfully doing business in key markets that make up this incredibly diverse region.




A diverse and fast-growing market, Indonesia is strategically placed for New Zealand businesses looking to grow in the Asia-Pacific region.

Read more


Nowhere else will you discover such a unique mix of the super high tech and the deeply traditional. Japan is a dynamic economy, one of the world's largest consumer markets, and an exciting place to do business. 

Read more


South Korea is the world's 13th largest economy, boasting some of the biggest tech brands in the world. Its focus on economic democratisation and green growth presents opportunities to Kiwi exporters. 

Read more


This fast growing country is aiming high. Our trade relationship is already strong, making the Malaysia market rich in potential for Kiwi exporters.

Read more


Rarely does a country transform itself with as much speed and success as Myanmar. As a relatively untapped market with infrastructure challenges, Myanmar presents unique opportunities to Kiwi exporters. 

Read more


One of the fastest growing countries in Asia, with a prevalence of English speakers and a strong trading relationship with us, this 7,100 island archipelago is a great place for New Zealanders to do business.

Read more


A growing financial hub and one of Asia's economic 'tigers', Singapore is full of opportunities for Kiwi exporters. Its central location helps open the door to other Asian markets.

Read more


Food and beverage, healthcare, construction and renewable energy are just some of the sectors of opportunity in Thailand, Southeast Asia's second largest economy.

Read more

Viet Nam

As one of Southeast Asia's fastest growing economies, Viet Nam is experiencing a boom that is putting it on track to becoming a developed nation by 2020.

Read more

From finding the right channel partner, to setting up an e-commerce presence, these guides will help you succeed in East Asia.


Nielson Food and Beverage Industry Reports 2018 East Asia

  • NZTE commissioned AC Nielsen and Japan Consuming to provide food and beverage retail analysis of the market’s size and volume, channels, top retailers and consumer shopper behaviour in eight countries.

    2.33 MB

Insights from Market Realities Masterclass 2018

  • Global trends are playing out in many pockets of East Asia, making it one of the world’s most exciting markets for food and beverage. NZTE’s Business Development Managers summarise trends, opportunities and challenges in eight countries.

    14.2 MB
Navigating food import processes in East Asia


Find out more about local rules and regulations, as well as country contacts that can help with import processes.

Read more

Partnering for success in East Asia


For many exporters, success relies on in-market partners doing a good job. This guide shows what a successful partner relationship looks like and how to get there.

Read more

E-commerce in East Asia


Take a look at East Asia's key e-commerce trends in 2017 and get information about common approaches to e-commerce in this region.

Read more