Ambassador Wang Xiaolong attends the Match-making Event between Māori-Chinese Businesses and delivers remarks

2022-12-17 13:17

On December 13-14, Ambassador Wang Xiaolong along with a delegation of Chinese enterprises in New Zealand organized by the China Chamber of Commerce in New Zealand visited Rotorua and participated the Māori Chinese business matching event co-hosted by CCCNZ and Te Taumata. The Ambassador and the Chinese business delegation were warmly welcomed with a pohiri at Te Puia Rotorua. Ambassador Wang Xiaolong, Chair of Te Taumata Chris Insley, CEO of The New Zealand Māori,Arts and Crafts Institute, Te Puia Te Taru White, Chair of CCCNZ Qi Jun along with more than 30 Māori and Chinese business representatives joined the event. 

Photo / Victoria Lu

In his remarks, Ambassador Wang highlighted the increasingly important role Māori economy played within the broader Aotearoa New Zealand economy. Ambassador Wang stated that cooperation in the areas of trade and investment is one of the strongest pillars for the growth of China-New Zealand relationship over the past 50 years and hoped this business matching event will lay a foundation and start to build a long-term partnership with mutual benefits for both sides. He believed that in the next few years, China-NZ will be able to reach the target of $50b in bilateral trade under the stewardship of leaders of both countries.

For that to take place, Ambassador Wang raised four points of suggestion for further cooperation: First, diversifying into new growth areas on the basis of the strong trade agenda between the two sides. Based on an existing trade strength in dairy products, meat and horticultural sectors, the two sides could expand cooperation on climate change, developing renewable energies and green economy to make that transition from the old carbon economy to a lower carbon and cleaner future. Second, making full use of the platforms that exists and the platforms that are going to be set up. Ambassador Wang encouraged more Māori enterprises to participate in CIIE and Canton Fair, and at the same time, make use of emerging e-commerce platforms such as Jingdong to help reach the enormous market of Chinese consumers and build branding of Māori products. Third, make the utmost of the opportunities offered by existing bilateral and multilateral institutional arrangements. China is seeking membership with the CPTPP and DEPA, which will open up new frontiers and lift market access for trading partners of both sides including Māori enterprises. To this end, Ambassador Wang hoped China could obtain strong support from the Māori and its community. Fourth, aiming high while starting small with practical steps. It is hoped that business matching discussions could come up with some specific ideas on how to work together and translate vision into reality to the benefit of both sides.

Chair of Te Taumata Chris Karamea Insley said in his remarks that Māori people are guided by the three core Māori values of Whanaugatanga, Mannakitanga and Kaitiakitanga. Over the past two decades, the Māori economy has been growing at averagely 10 to 20 percent a year. Today, the Māori economy is worth about $80 billion. Māori people are placing more attention on fostering trade and economic relations with other countries including China. In the past few years, Te Taumata, acting as a port of call for face to face trade discussions between Māori leaders and the government, successfully guaranteed more interests of Māori in trade negotiations between Aotearoa New Zealand and the rest of the world. Chair Insley stated that Te Taumata recognizes the importance of Māori exports to China and is optimistic about the prospects. He highly applauded the Ambassador's remarks that the two sides should aim high, start small for the next step in cooperation. He hoped that today's hui will open up future practical cooperation step by step, for Māori and Chinese enterprises to strive for substantive outcomes at an early date.

During this event, business leaders of Māori Forestry Association, Tauhara North No2 Trust, Pukeroa Oruawhata Holdings Limited, Whenua Fruits, Te Arawa Federation of Māori Authorities and China Construction Bank NZ Ltd., Industrial & Commercial Bank of China NZ Ltd, China Travel Service NZ Ltd., JD.COM shared overall business status quo and cooperation interests. The two sides discussed the prospects of cooperation in tourism, trade, forestry, geothermal park, finance and fruit planting, and on-site exchanges and interactions were warm and in-depth. Chinese business delegation also visited Whenua Fruits and Te Arawa Fisheries, and further explored cooperation opportunities in developing new berry varieties and seafood aquaculture.