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Asia Knowledge Ministry of Education

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The success and growth of ANZ’s business in Asia has had a direct correlation with the desire of their customers to want to deal with these offshore markets. While there have been instances where banks have successfully looked to grow internationally outside of their customer base, there have been many who have failed.

For 140 of their 170-year history, ANZ has largely operated within Australasia so moving the bank's focus into Asia has required overcoming many cultural and language barriers, and balancing how to profit and grow in an unfamiliar environment without becoming exposed to undue risk.

As a result, ANZ looked to grow in close connectivity with customers from their local base by predominantly facilitating business in those countries with companies they already knew. To date, this business has tended to be focused on trade finance and offered to companies from New Zealand looking to do business in these locations. Over time, the presence of ANZ in the country, and its established knowledge of customs and practices, will lead to an enhanced ability to deal confidently with the local population.


ANZ billboard on the side of a building.

The technology explosion that has taken place over the last 20 years has enabled banks to make significant changes in their operations to allow, among other things, customers access to their money 24 hours a day, seven days a week. These innovations have enabled money to move around the world rapidly, and international banks to forge mutually beneficial relationships with one another. The outcome has lead to an exponential growth in world trade (trade has tripled since 1980, 15 times greater than it was in 1950), which has been highly beneficial to all countries.

The growing importance of Asian economies to New Zealand has also continued to increase. Nine of New Zealand’s 15 largest trading partners are Asian  a reflection that the Bank believes indicates their future is inextricably linked to Asia.

As New Zealand becomes increasingly connected to the greater Asian region, we will see ourselves selling more to Asia and buying more from them. We can already see the increasing interest from Asia in terms of investment, tourism, and education (foreign students), and this in turn gives New Zealand banks clear advantages. As this connectivity increases our linkages become even stronger.

Read more about ANZ's journey:

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