Asian immigrants important to New Zealand

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A new report claims that New Zealand risks losing out on the potential benefits of having Asian business graduates in their workforce if they continue to face barriers in finding jobs and obtaining visas after graduation.

The report by the Asia New Zealand Foundation, a non-profit organisation aiming to increase New Zealand's knowledge and understanding of Asia, said that Asian business graduates can help New Zealand companies build links with international markets. But the country could miss out on this if Asian graduates are forced to leave because they are unable to find jobs easily and transition to new visas.

Asia New Zealand said New Zealand needs to create new policies that give Asian graduates information about the transition from study to work and how to apply for new visas.

"Fostering such an environment is likely to serve the long-term interests of New Zealand, whether graduates stay and contribute to the local economy, or leave maintaining connections and recommending the country to others", said one of the report's authors, Terry McGrath, Massey University international student chaplain.

Asia New Zealand Foundation director of policy and research Dr Andrew Butcher said New Zealand could benefit "enormously" from the graduates' skills. He added that the case studies in the report show that if the business graduates have positive study and employment experiences here, New Zealand can benefit greatly from their business entrepreneurial skills.

The report was based off a study Asia New Zealand conducted by tracking more than 250 Asian business students and graduates for the past three years.

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