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An image of tourists near Vietnam temple

Tertiary Market Immersion Programme

An image of tourists near Vietnam temple
  • You’ll broaden your understanding of and engagement with Southeast Asia
  • You’ll learn about business environments and opportunities in the region
  • You’ll be introduced to Southeast Asia’s diverse social, cultural and political dimensions and their influence on business engagement in the region
  • You’ll learn about markets in Southeast Asia from the varied perspectives of businesses and government agencies in New Zealand and across the region
  • You’ll work in teams, guided by academic and industry mentors, to develop a relevant business strategy

You will have the opportunity to create relationships with some of Southeast Asia’s most innovative organisations, build your knowledge of thriving markets and establish a strong network of likeminded peers, with the potential to secure an internship with one of the many exciting businesses involved.

Throughout the trip the businesses and organisations we met with all provided key learnings related to the non-economic side of business, highlighting social and ethical issues such as climate change, sustainability and protections or indigenous knowledge. Being immersed in the operations of both new and established companies provided a contrast of approaches to Singaores market, and a new way to think about exploring South East Asia as a whole.

Kendall Watts TMIP 2021 Participant Te Herenga Waka - Victoria University of Wellington

It has been an incredible eye-opening experience...there have been huge learnings on economics, relationships between countries, business in Asia and New Zealand's place in this. I would definitely recommend this programme to others.

Imogen Graham TMIP 2020 Participant

Southeast Asia is an exciting, dynamic place and I can't wait to return. Overall, the trip was a valuable experience and I would recommend any tertiary student to apply. As a non-business student, I learnt so much about New Zealand entrepreneurship in Southeast Asia and the distinct business culture of each country. The trip has broadened my horizons and I look forward to returning to this part of the world soon. A big thank you to SEA CAPE for the opportunity of a lifetime!

Charlotte Keir TMIP 2019 Participant University of Canterbury

Past TMIP experiences

From 4-25 January 2020, 16 students from 7 universities across New Zealand swapped the lecture theatre for the hustle and bustle of three major Southeast Asian cities. Travelling through Jakarta, Kuala Lumpur and Singapore, the group spent three weeks interacting with New Zealand and local government agencies and businesses to develop a holistic perspective on how New Zealand can engage with these dynamic markets and with the wider ASEAN region.

Led by SEA CAPE staff and a team of academics, the students were divided into four groups and tasked with developing business reports around how New Zealand can engage with Southeast Asian markets in the following areas:

  • Social enterprise models for sustainability in Indonesia and MalaysiaSingapore as a hub for New Zealand’s engagement in Southeast AsiaThe allure of the Indonesian, Malaysian or Singaporean food and beverage market for New Zealand
  • New Zealand’s services into the Indonesian, Malaysian, or Singaporean markets.

Jakarta, Indonesia

In Jakarta, students braved the chaotic traffic to visit businesses and NGOs, including: XSProject, Suwe Ora Jamu, Greenhouse and M Bloc. At BRI Microfinance Centre they heard first-hand about the opportunities and challenges facing SMEs in Indonesia, and how micro-finance is being used to empower small and micro businesses. Later in the week, the group visited the ASEAN Secretariat, the Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia, and the Indonesian Ministry of State Secretariat to learn about the country’s key role in ASEAN as well its relationship to New Zealand in light of challenges of global trade. Meeting with NZ Ambassador to Indonesia Jonathan Austin and NZ’s Deputy Head of Mission to ASEAN Charlie Gillard at the New Zealand Embassy in Jakarta was a particular highlight for many of the participants.

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

The Kuala Lumpur leg of the programme included a two-day internship with companies based in the Malaysian capital. The internship host companies, Accelerate Global, Storiiu Sdn Bhd, Fonterra, New Zealand Unlimited and Datacom, offered the students hands-on work experience and valuable insights into Malaysian workplace culture.

During the remaining time in Malaysia the group visited a mixture of entrepreneurial and tech-focused organisations such as MaGIC, HLX and Maxis. At Maxis, students were hosted by SEA CAPE [email protected] fellow Senthil Balan who gave a presentation on how to win in Southeast Asia through the power of relationship building. An undoubted highlight of the Malaysian leg of TMIP was an evening reception at the residence of NZ High Commissioner to Malaysia, Hunter Nottage, where the students each had the opportunity network and to speak about their TMIP experience so far.


Singapore marked the final leg of the programme. Students spent a busy few days learning from MFAT, NZTE, Education New Zealand and Tourism New Zealand, among others, about New Zealand’s trade and political relationship with Singapore and the value for New Zealand businesses in leveraging the NZ provenance story. They also learned about how New Zealand firms have successfully used Singapore as a hub to explore other Southeast Asian markets. Visits to A*Star and RSIS – S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies rounded out the week with observations on the Singapore story and the key drivers behind the country’s success.

The final presentations held at the NZ High Commission marked the end of the in-market programme. The afternoon was a great showcase of the TMIP 2020 journey in Southeast Asia and the learnings along the way, with each of the four groups successfully pitching their ideas to the audience and judges, which included High Commissioner Jo Tyndall.

The audience heard dynamic pitches on using Agritech to analyse the ways in which Singapore can be a gateway to the ASEAN region, opening the pathway for indigenous Maori brands through herbal tea, exporting New Zealand patient data managements systems to Malaysia, and managing food waste through social enterprise.

TMIP 2020 Team 1
TMIP 2020 Team 2
TMIP 2020 Team 3
TMIP 2020 Team 4

From January 8th – 25th, 16 tertiary students from across New Zealand participated in the Tertiary Market Immersion Programme (TMIP). Led by SEACAPE staff, the students visited Vietnam, Thailand and Singapore to learn about doing business in Southeast Asia and the opportunities and challenges that the region presents.

Throughout the programme, students worked in teams to develop a business idea for a New Zealand company or entrepreneur wanting to enter the Southeast Asia market. Each group focused on a different industry: food and beverage, e-commerce, SME innovation and entrepreneurship, and social enterprise, and presented their idea in Singapore at the end of the programme.

In Vietnam, the students were amazed by the richness of the culture, the resilience of the people and the dynamism of Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. They learned about Vietnam’s rapidly growing and entrepreneurial business culture through their interactions with New Zealand Trade and Enterprise (NZTE), several global businesses, and Vietnam’s first unicorn – VNG to name a few. The group also had a lively exchange with local students at the University of Economics in Ho Chi Minh City before rounding off their visit at the New Zealand Embassy in Hanoi.

Contrasts started to become apparent as the group arrived in Thailand for the second leg of the programme. At the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) head office in Bangkok they learned about Thailand 4.0 and the Thai government’s vision for economic growth through infrastructure development, trade and investment hubs, innovation parks and creating liveable smart cities. The group met with SEACAPE’s [email protected] Fellows, Dr Thitinan Pongsudhirak and Dr Pavida Pananond, at Chulalongkorn University where they learned about the political and economic environment in Thailand as well as the challenges to the economic upgrading of the country. In a day-long session at Hubba co-working space, the local NZTE office briefed the participants on the Thailand Market and arranged an excellent line-up of speakers for the students with a strong focus on social entrepreneurship and innovation.

Singapore marked the final leg of the programme and saw the group come together with Young Enterprise students participating in SEACAPE’s Business Challenge programme. Highlights in the ‘Lion City’ included meeting NZ High Commissioner, Dr Jonathan Austin, and NZTE’s East Asia Regional Director, Clare Wilson at the New Zealand Chamber of Commerce, visiting Facebook’s AsiaPac HQ, hearing from Singapore-based Kiwi entrepreneurs, and using a co-working space to work on their business pitches. A visit to Singapore Management University allowed the students to hear an academic perspective on Singapore’s development.

On presentation day at ANZ’s Singapore office, each of the four groups pitched their business idea to an audience including a panel of judges, the Business Challenge participants, and a number of invited guests. Their ideas covered cold chain logistics in Vietnam, the social enterprise landscape in Southeast Asia, an environmental management app and advisory service, and a pitch to develop the coffee industry in Thailand.

Tertiary Market Immersion Programme 2019 – Naomi Pepah
Tertiary Market Immersion Programme 2019 – Nina Santos
Tertiary Market Immersion Programme 2019 – Charlotte Keir & Ella Boyd