World Indigenous Business Forum begins today

updated By Regan Paranihi

The World Indigenous Business Forum 2018 (WIBF 2018) kicks off in Rotorua today.

It will be New Zealand’s first time at hosting the event, which aims to significantly lift both Māori and New Zealand trade profiles across global indigenous business communities.

Many national and international indigenous entrepreneurs are set to attend the event as it is a platform for them to engage in global indigenous economic discussions with a focus on community, industry, academic and government issues.

Facebook live broadcast of the welcoming ceremony

Today Māori Development Minister Nanaia Mahuta hosted a wānanga in Rotorua for ministers and delegates from Australia, Canada, Chile, and Mexico to promote international dialogue on indigenous business and trade opportunities.

She says, "It is an exciting opportunity for us to learn from one another and discuss the role that governments can play in supporting indigenous business development and trade on the world stage."

Mahuta says the interest from government, business and civil society to support indigenous people and their communities through economic development across the globe is growing.

"Whether developing new diplomatic relations or growing existing ones, this wānanga is a unique platform to help promote greater dialogue amongst our countries.  We want to ensure that trade benefits all people, including indigenous people."

Mahuta says the government is committed to indigenous development and cooperation in order for trade agreements to deliver for all New Zealanders, including Māori.

“We are looking forward to deepening and widening the relationships we have formed at the wānanga and continuing these discussions at the 18th Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues at the United Nations in New York,”

This year’s WIBF event is organised by Te Ohu Whai Ao and is sponsored by Te Puni Kōkiri.

Mahuta will open the World Indigenous Business Forum tomorrow in Rotorua.