Leadership Network member Tim McCready says the experiences he has had with the Asia New Zealand Foundation have gone on to unlock bigger opportunities and shape his career.
Now a senior business consultant and media commentator, Tim was working at New Zealand Trade and Enterprise, and often with mainland China, Hong Kong and Japan, when he joined the Leadership Network in 2010.
Despite working with Asia, his first visit to the region was as part of an agribusiness delegation to Japan, which further piqued his interest in the region.
“I was fascinated by the difference in the Japanese market, the opportunities it presents, and the great Kiwi businesses that were thriving there. Following that experience, I was keen to learn and engage more with the region.”
Tim says he has gained a lot from the offshore opportunities he has had with the Foundation: as an entrepreneur to Myanmar, a leadership hui in South Korea, and attending the APEC CEO Summit in Vladivostok, Russia in 2011.
“Each of these were amazing experiences and provided opportunities that have gone on to be much more significant than just the visit itself.
“For example, while [in Vladivostok], I met and heard from major CEOs and leaders from the 21 APEC economies, including then-Secretary of State Hilary Clinton and Chinese President Hu Jintao. I also spent 20 minutes at the Summit with New Zealand Prime Minister John Key - just ahead of his bilateral with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
“Being part of such a high-profile event has helped shape my career in international trade and investment, as well as the work I do in business and political journalism, panel moderation, and commentary.”
Tim says on top of all that, meeting people from across Asia through the Network has been hugely rewarding.
“My involvement has meant I have been introduced to cultures, businesses and ways of thinking that I would not have otherwise had access to or been aware of. The Foundation has provided me with life-long friends and a broad network that I will forever be grateful for.”