Council's China Trade Delegation Strikes Gold

29 May 2012

Wellington City Council's current trade delegation to China has returned a boost for the Capital's economy.

The Inspired Collection, the international arm of local jewellers The Village Goldsmith, has confirmed an exclusive deal to supply unique engagement rings for the 300-store 'I Do' bridal shop chain throughout China.

"The creativity of Wellington is truly reaping a global return with the beautiful designs from Inspired," said Mayor Celia Wade-Brown.

This is the second notable deal confirmed in the two days since the delegation, led by Mayor Wade-Brown, arrived in Beijing on Saturday. The 39-member delegation features Wellington-based businesses and organisations, strengthening trade opportunities in the cities of Beijing, Tianjin, Hangzhou and Shanghai.

Village Goldsmith founder Ian Douglas has travelled with the delegation to present initial designs to Chinese manufacturer Hiersun, which will pay royalties for the designs, which will retail for between $1000 and $20,000 (USD) each.

Mayor Wade-Brown said the delegation, which returns to New Zealand this Saturday 2 June, had achieved a tremendous start after Airways New Zealand announced the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding to train Chinese air traffic controllers in New Zealand.

"Combined with the earlier Airways NZ agreement, this Village Goldsmith deal underlines how beneficial our Council-led delegations are for opening doors.

"The Village Goldsmith's success is the result of hard work, preparation and previous visits to Hong Kong and China. This delegation is about strengthening connections and helping to seal trade opportunities," said Mayor Wade-Brown.

The Council's Economy Portfolio leader, Jo Coughlan, said the two deals showed how New Zealand's creative expertise is highly valued overseas.

"Congratulations to Ian Douglas and The Village Goldsmith for striking success in China," said Cr Coughlan. "This is a fabulous example of exporting New Zealand expertise to the world.

"You don't need to have a huge manufacturing base to achieve success in China - but a great idea, the skills to back it up and hard work to turn opportunities into reality certainly helps. This is a great success for Wellington's creative industry."

Village Goldsmith founder Ian Douglas said he recognised that government support goes a long way in China.

"The presence of Mayor Wade-Brown at one of our meetings with Hiersun has reinforced both Inspired's and Wellington's commitment to trade between New Zealand and China," said Mr Douglas.

"Government support in China is very highly valued and being part of the Mayoral delegation has shown the intent and respect for our long term relationship with Hiersun.

"For us this is an exciting development in the creation of our design hub in Wellington that will supply designs and IP to other major companies around the world, building upon the way that The Village Goldsmith has designed and created jewellery for our New Zealand clients over the last 30 years."