Kia ora koutou,

A newly released report outlining the demand for natural health products in Singapore and Southeast Asia highlights an opportunity for Māori exporters to target a receptive, new market.

The report, prepared for Māori-led nutrition venture, Nuku ki te Puku Limited, examines the opportunities available for New Zealand producers of natural health products in Singapore and the wider Southeast Asia region.

The demand for natural health products continues to grow post-COVID thanks, in part, to New Zealand’s long track record of identifying and utilising the medicinal and nutritional uses of natural products, and its clean and green reputation.

Te Taumata sees Singapore as a significant opportunity for Māori companies working in the nutraceutical sector.

For thousands of years, Māori have used our natural resources to supplement the wellness of our people.

This generational knowledge puts Māori in the best position to market our natural products to Singapore, Southeast Asia and the world.

According to the report, plant-based products and products that support immunity are in high demand, while traditional knowledge is highly valued by consumers in Singapore.

Te Taumata believes now is an ideal time for Māori businesses to weigh up the benefits of exporting to Southeast Asia.

We recognise the Southeast Asian market in this sector is highly competitive with well-resourced, sophisticated companies operating there.

However, the unique insight, tried and true natural products and reputation our businesses offer are unmatched.

It is important to recognise the risks of entering a new market, including regulatory requirements, corruption and managing and protecting intellectual property.

These risks are not specific to the Southeast Asian market. We encourage Māori businesses to look at new export opportunities but we also must urge they do due diligence to combat some of these obstacles.

Te Taumata predicts the natural health product sector will continue to grow post-COVID and Māori need to be positioned to fully benefit from this growth.

Ngā mihi

Chris Karamea Insley