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China Business Summit in New Zealand focuses on high-quality development Release date: 2024-05-22    Source:Xinhua

The China Business Summit 2024, with its theme "Navigating Today's China," was held on Monday in Auckland, New Zealand's largest city.

New Zealand Prime Minister Christopher Luxon and Trade Minister Todd McClay attended the event. Topics on how to achieve innovative and high-quality development across various sectors amid the increasingly complex international environment were discussed by representatives from business communities of New Zealand and China.

Luxon was celebrative of the success of New Zealand's trade relationship with China in recent years. He stated that last year, the bilateral trade volume reached 38 billion New Zealand dollars (approximately 23.24 billion U.S. dollars), more than four times the amount when the NZ-China Free Trade Agreement (FTA) came into force in 2008.

Luxon emphasised that trade is the lifeblood of New Zealand's economy, "And my government's number one priority is to be building economy." China has, of course, been essential to the current New Zealand government's early international engagements, as it fits its significance to New Zealand, said Luxon.

"Yes, our trade and economic relationship with China remain central to our prosperity. And the government will continue to grow that relationship," said Luxon.

Chinese Ambassador to New Zealand Wang Xiaolong echoed Luxon's opinion.

"Robust economic cooperation has always been a critical pillar of the bilateral relationship. There are neither historical grievances nor fundamental conflicts in interest between our two countries," Wang said.

"The fact that our commonality far outweighs our differences remains unchanged; the complementarity of our interests remains unchanged; the enormous room for cooperation between our two sides remains unchanged. China is not a threat to New Zealand. Rather, China represents for New Zealand an opportunity and a mutually beneficial partner," Wang stressed.

He also stated that China's commitment to developing the relationship with New Zealand is firm and clear and that China wants to continue to see New Zealand as a good friend and an important partner.

On the basis of mutual respect and accommodation, focusing on cooperation and benefiting the people, China looks forward to working together with New Zealand to take the comprehensive strategic partnership to the next level, better to benefit the two countries, particularly the two peoples, and make positive contribution to regional and global peace, stability and prosperity, said the Chinese ambassador.

McClay reflected on his visit to China last month, noting that he was confident that New Zealand retains its reputation in China as the world's leading producer of safe, healthy, natural, nutritious sustainable food products.

"Beyond that, I also see further opportunities for New Zealand businesses (in China) in a range of sectors. There is more we can do to help our businesses take full advantage of our long-standing FTA with China," said McClay.

Luxon also encouraged New Zealand Businesses to stay nimble and keep up with the market demand in China. He took the pet food exporting and the video gaming sectors, for example, for which there are huge potential for New Zealand's exporters.

"Let's not forget an extraordinary 42 percent of all global e-commerce occurs in China. So I am confident that NZ's export industry will capitalize on those opportunities with the same energy and same dynamism that we have shown in the Chinese market so far," said Luxon.

As the 10-year anniversary of the comprehensive strategic partnership approaches, Luxon looked forward to continued high-level exchanges between the two countries, and hoped he could visit China in his capacity as prime minister.

During the summit, representatives from New Zealand's business community also expressed optimism about China's economy. Raymond Yeung, chief economist for Greater China at ANZ Bank, said, "China is helping New Zealand's trade deficit. China is a stabiliser for New Zealand economy."

Supported by the New Zealand government, the China Business Summit entered its 10th year in 2024. Luxon attended the event for the first time in his capacity as prime minister. Hundreds of representatives from New Zealand's political and business community participated in the summit.