Eastern Bridge

From Eastern Bridge


Eastern Bridge is a business which focuses on building economic and business relationships between New Zealand and East Asia.

The company concept was developed by founder, Simon Appleton while working at Opotiki District Council.  During his time there, Simon recognised a disconnect between many Kiwi organisations' ambitions to meaningfully engage with Asia and their inability to do so.  Having its origins in local government, Eastern Bridge has a range of Council-specific services and a passion for local economic development.

Simon Appleton is a Chinese and Korean speaker, and has a background in Chinese law, having graduated with a master's degree from Renmin University in Beijing.  Simon also worked in China and South Korea for approximately a decade before returning to New Zealand to work in local government and regional economic development.  

Eastern Bridge is made up of a diverse team, including language specialists in Mandarin, Cantonese, Korean, Japanese and Vietnamese, and also boasts a qualified advisory group with backgrounds in export education, trade, project management and business attraction.  Eastern Bridge is also well-connected with a wide range of specialists, organisations and offices which relate to Asia.

  • Communication Services provide a cost-effective means for Councils to maintain full-time language capability in one or multiple Asian languages.  These services include a wide range of print and verbal correspondence, including email, phone, website and social media.
  • Due Diligence and Briefings provide Councils with high-level and in-depth information on Asia-based businesses or authorities.  This service includes providing briefing documents and recommendations on delegation requests or on business approaches from Asia — techniques which are regularly used to separate time wasters from legitimate meeting requests.
  • Strategy Development builds a framework for international engagements.  Strategies can include working with Councils to develop a new international partnership or reinterpret an existing relationship.  Eastern Bridge will map the economic landscape of two areas and identify potential areas for focus and develop an International Relations Strategy and Management Plan.
  • Relationship Management provides assistance to Councils to manage a specific relationship; this could be with another Asia-based city or an investor settling in their district.  This service can include language interpretation of legislation like the Resource Management Act, permitting and licences, as well as providing a single point of contact for the international partner.

For an introduction on the advantages that a partnership with Eastern Bridge can provide councils, click here.

For information on Eastern Bridge's upcoming client profile promotions across Asia, and how to get your council involved, click here.

The Eastern Bridge Advantage:

Eastern Bridge can also provide hands-on support to businesses across a range of industry sectors, including education and export education, trade and tourism.  The Eastern Bridge team is very approachable and works with clients to tailor solutions to their needs and budgets, and provide an inexpensive alternative to developing internal capabilities.  

With networks established throughout NZ and Asia, and a commitment to further growing international relationships and connections, Eastern Bridge draws on a wide range of knowledge and experiences from both its internal team, as well as its extended networks, including academics, business people, Asia-focused associations and organisations, as well as government and foreign affairs representatives.


Phone: 09 2162632

Mobile: 022 3969590



1G 166-172 Queen Street, Auckland Central.