Ethnic People in Commerce (EPIC) 2017 Conference

Image of attendees at EPIC Conference 2017

The Office of Ethnic Communities hosted its EPIC 2017 conference on 30 June at Sky City Convention Centre in Auckland.

The Ethnic People in Commerce (EPIC) conference aims to strengthen the links between Government and New Zealand’s ethnically diverse business community. This year’s theme was The New Zealand Business Story – best practice, better business, providing valuable insights and perspectives into digital disruption, innovation and success in an ever-changing global economy.

The conference was opened by Minister for Ethnic Communities, Hon Judith Collins, who spoke about the value of The New Zealand Story for businesses to take their products and services to the world. The conference was supported by Minister for Small Business, Hon Jacqui Dean, who also addressed the audience.

The keynote speaker, Pier Smulders from Alibaba Group, spoke about the possibilities of e-commerce and the opportunities available for New Zealand exporters to sell to the huge China market.

Master of Ceremonies Jehan Casinader brought together two panel discussions. The first was on The New Zealand Story, discussing ways in which businesses of varying sizes can compete successfully in a growing and changing global market. The panellists were Priti Ambani (Tech Futures Lab), Rebecca Smith (The New Zealand Story) and David LiuYang (FunderTech).

The second panel saw business leaders share their personal experiences with diversity, and how it has contributed to their companies’ success. The panellists were Merryn Straker (Straker Translations), Adán Tijerina (Almighty Organic Juices) and Bhavini Doshii (Rainbow Corner).

A number of government agencies were also on hand to speak to conference participants throughout the day.

“EPIC NZ is an interactive event. It gives participants the opportunity to engage closely with New Zealand business leaders and Government, to explore how diversity and innovation can bring new opportunities” says Wen Powles, Director of the Office of Ethnic Communities.

The Office of Ethnic Communities is currently analysing feedback from conference participants but early indications are the attendees rated the sessions highly.