The 28th Asian Seed Congress flourishes in New Zealand

Christchurch, New Zealand sowed the seeds of success for the Asia and Pacific Seed Association

Brought to you by Tourism New Zealand

Held for the first time in Christchurch, New Zealand from November 20 to 24, 2023, the 28th Asian Seed Congress welcomed more than 1,100 people from 45 countries to Te Pae Christchurch Convention Centre.  

As the premier flagship event of the Asia and Pacific Seed Association (APSA), the Asian Seed Congress sees stakeholders come together to trade seeds and discuss the industry’s future. 

It is co-hosted with the New Zealand Grain and Seed Trade Association (NZGSTA) and with the support of the Ministry of Primary Industries, ChristchurchNZ and Tourism New Zealand Business Events.

APSA president Manish Patel said: “Hosting this event in New Zealand was long overdue. New Zealand is a regional and global leader in the production and export of various vegetable and horticultural crop seeds, as well as a model country in terms of its balance of science-based and business-friendly policy.

“New Zealand was also a popular choice for the event, exceeding attendance expectations.”

Impactful meetings and new collaborations 

The 28th Asian Seed Congress held for the first time in New Zealand welcomed more than 1,100 people from 45 countries

Visitors to the Congress were introduced to New Zealand’s unique Māori culture with a traditional Mihi Whakatau (welcome) and kapa haka (song and dance) performance, followed by four days of business and knowledge sessions. 

A lively exhibition area hosted 37 seed-related businesses from around the world. Trading tables at the congress were quickly snapped up and organisers believe close to 10,000 meetings were held during the event.

Patel added: “We estimate that as much as US$150 million to US$200 million of new business was generated from the Congress directly, and upwards of US$1 billion indirectly as a result of deals, leads and partnerships formed during Congress week. 

“Important collaborations were formed, including the signing of memorandums of understanding related to agricultural R&D and innovation. These will contribute not only to the bottom line and sustainability of seed companies domestically and regionally, but also to the food security and thus prosperity of all people and countries globally.”

Experiences around the conference

Additionally, four sold-out post-Congress tours brought an experiential element to delegates’ learning and showcased the Canterbury region’s agricultural expertise. 

This included tours to Plant & Food Research, a visit to New Zealand’s Arable Farmer of the Year’s farm, and the region’s new seed coating technology plant. 

Delegates also had the opportunity to explore New Zealand’s scenery, where they sampled world-class wine in the Waipara Valley wine region, visited a Canterbury High Country Station, and took in panoramic views of the Mount Hutt range.

An Accompanying Person Tour incorporated an unforgettable full-day adventure of Christchurch’s must-do activities, including riding the City Tram, punting along the Avon River, taking in the view from the Gondola, and boutique shopping at The Tannery. 

Some 50 delegates also took part in a three-kilometre charity fun run at Christchurch’s Latimer Square, with a total donation of NZ$4,050 (US$2,501) given to Ronald McDonald House Canterbury Charities.

The Asian Seed Congress also hosted its first-ever Ladies Luncheon, which attracted 120 women leaders with the aim of increasing and cultivating equity and diversity in the seed industry.

NZGSTA president Charlotte Connoley said the Asian Seed Congress was an excellent showcase of both Christchurch’s event capability and the New Zealand seed industry. 

“By hosting such an event, New Zealand becomes a viable option for future seed industry events on a global scale creating opportunities for further tourism and trade,” she said.

Keen to host your next Asia-Pacific congress in New Zealand? Tourism New Zealand provides funding and support to bring international conferences to New Zealand. 

To find out more, contact:
Edward Kwek
Tourism New Zealand
Business Events Manager – Singapore, Southeast Asia
Contact+65 9152 9122

Visit for more information.

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