On December 7, to celebrate the 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations between China and New Zealand, “Vision 2023: Fifty Years of Mutual Benefits, New Chapter for Practical Cooperation” Event was held at Auckland. This event was hosted by China Chamber of Commerce in New Zealand (CCCNZ), and supported by the Chinese Embassy in New Zealand, the Consulate General in Auckland and the Consulate General in Christchurch. Former Prime Minister of New Zealand Rt Hon Sir John Key, Ambassador Wang Xiaolong, Consul General Chen Shijie, Consul General He Ying and more than 300 business representatives attended the event.
On this event, Rt Hon Sir John Key and Ambassador Wang Xiaolong delivered a keynote speech, while Minister for Trade and Export Growth Damien O’Connor and Deputy Mayor of Auckland Desley Simpson, delivered video remarks. Chair of CCCNZ Qi Jun released a Members Survey Report and two panel discussions featuring bilateral trade prospects and digital economy cooperation potentials were also held on this event.
In his speech themed Building the Path of Mutual Benefits and Win-Win Progress through Practical Cooperation in New Era, Amb Wang recalled significant achievements made in bilateral economic and trade cooperation since the establishment of diplomatic ties between the two countries and pointed out that over the past 50 years, China and New Zealand have forged an economically symbiotic relationship and set a fine example of mutually beneficial partnership between countries. Ambassador Wang stressed that under the guidance of 20th National Congress and the stewardship of the leaders, China’s development and further opening up will offer more opportunities for other countries including New Zealand, which will, at a fundamental level, drive China-NZ economic and trade cooperation for many years to come.
To implement the consensus reached by the leaders in the new era, Ambassador Wang shared with the guests four observations: First, maintaining, as a top priority, the robust momentum seen in recent years for bilateral trade as a major pillar for China-NZ overall relationship, while carefully protecting and nurturing the positive national branding enjoyed by NZ products on the Chinese market. Second, exploring huge potential for growth in digital and green economies and deepening bilateral practical cooperation. Third, strengthening the institutional framework between the two sides. China is now seeking membership of both CPTPP and DEPA. Its eventual accession will generate huge dividends not only for China but also for its partners, including New Zealand. Fourth, encouraging sub-national or local governments and business chambers to engage in bridge-building for bilateral practical cooperation to grow further.
Former Prime Minister of New Zealand Sir John Key fully agreed with the observations Amb Wang made in his speech, and said that the thing that he would take out of what the two countries have experienced in the relationship between a very small country at the bottom of the world New Zealand and the most populated country in the world in the form of China over 50 years is that it has been a sense of courage and bravery on both sides. He recognized the “Four Firsts” that had taken place between New Zealand and China, and in particular, New Zealand was the first country to recognize China as a market-based economy and to support its accession to WTO, and also the first developed country to undertake an FTA with China. He encouraged the leadership of New Zealand to think that basis of this relationship fifty years ago, and have the courage and bravery to understand what an independent foreign policy means. Sir John fully supported China’s desire to join CPTPP and spoke highly of the Belt and Road Initiative, which is a colossal investment program linking China in Asia to Europe. He urged the two sides to use the basis of what has been a fantastic relationship over 50 years and maximize the relationship on both sides.
Minster for Trade and Export Growth, Hon Damien O’Connor stated in his video remarks that China continues to be a major source of opportunity and growth for New Zealand businesses. 42 New Zealand companies participated in this year’s China International Import Expo, and achieved fruitful results. Bilateral relationship with China remains one of New Zealand’s most significant. NZ will take the opportunity of the 50th anniversary to promote practical cooperation and further benefit the two peoples.
Chair of CCCNZ, Qi Jun released the annual survey report, and made an in-depth analysis the results within the different chapters, i.e. post-pandemic economic outlook, China-New Zealand Bilateral Economic and Trade Cooperation Outlook and Regional Economic & Trade Cooperation Mechanisms. On this event, two panel discussions featuring bilateral trade prospects and digital economy cooperation potentials were also held. Representatives from Fonterra, Zespri, Silver Fern Farms and Tourism Export Council NZ reviewed the fruitful achievements in Chinese market, and shared thoughts on an ambitious $50 billion target for two-way trade with China. Representatives from Tiger Brokers, Dinosaur Polo Club, Geo AR Games and Ebaytown had in-depth discussions on the digital economy cooperation potentials, latest industry trends and huge opportunities in the Chinese market. In the new era to come, they will ambitiously continue to unleash the business potentials with China, to achieve mutually beneficial and win-win results for both sides.