Te Taumata applauds today’s announcement by the New Zealand, Singapore and Chile governments who have committed to working together to develop a digital trading framework through the new Digital Economic Partnership Agreement (DEPA).

Te Taumata chair, Chris Karamea Insley, says South East Asia and the Pacific are important growing markets for products from Maori businesses. He says Singapore is well positioned geographically as a stepping-stone into massive neighbouring markets, like China.

“Two hundred years ago, Maori traded flax for ropes and kauri logs for ship masts to Britain. The world has changed and is changing fast. Technology’s driving this change. Consumers are demanding high quality products and services for cheaper and faster delivery so new supply and value chains are needed.

“Digital trade will drive down costs of traditional paper-based trading platforms, opening up new international markets for our smaller Maori businesses, trusts and incorporations especially.”

Mr Insley says Te Taumata is actively working alongside the government with a number of Maori businesses to practically advance today’s announcement to design, define and test what a digital trading platform looks like, and how it can enable the interests of whanau businesses – and in time grow whanau.

“DEPA will enable traceability and product tracking, connecting global consumers back to our commerce directly and in real-time promote our unique korero o te ao Māori ki te Ao.

“It’ll certainly engage the curiosity of our rangatahi. It’s the way of the world we’re living in today.”