Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Kiwis view Asia with favour

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More feel need to put effort into building relationships with bloc.
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New Zealanders have become friendlier towards Asian countries in the past year, with more aware of the need to spend time and energy building relationships with the valuable trading bloc.

The Asia-New Zealand Foundation has released the results of its latest Perceptions of Asia report, which reveals greater amicability towards Asian nations than in previous years, particularly Philippines, Vietnam and Indonesia, while also recognising the value of India in that mix.

The survey has been conducted for the past 26 years and draws from a national sample base of 2300 people aged over 15. It was conducted in November last year.

Foundation executive director Simon Draper said China continues to dominate the central view of how most New Zealanders view Asia, but other countries, including Japan, Singapore and South Korea, are receiving greater attention.

He said feelings towards China remain mixed, and predictably sentiment about Russia and North Korea has declined and both countries ranked significantly higher as perceived threat risks than in 2021. 

Almost half of the respondents said they had seen, heard or read something about Asia in the past three months, while 30% felt Asia receives too little coverage in media.

While feelings towards Asian countries may have warmed, Kiwis are aware of the risks that tensions in the region bring, with two thirds saying there were at least “fairly concerned” about the possibility of some sort of conflict breaking out.

Two thirds of respondents were interested in Asia because of it politics, and a massive 87% due to  its food culture.

For two thirds, history and current affairs account for their interest,  70% are most interested in trade and business, and almost three quarters in tourism and travel to the region.

Draper said interest in the region is also growing in other areas, including entertainment, sport and innovation, a trend he said is likely to continue in coming years.

Full report is available here

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