New Zealand to continue investing in trade, economic relations with China: minister
New Zealand Minister for Trade and Export Growth Damien O'Connor on Monday expressed his confidence in trade and economic relations between New Zealand and China.
Delivering a speech at the annual China Business Summit in Auckland, O'Connor said New Zealand will stay committed to investing in trade and economic relations with China.
Despite global trade disruptions, goods exports from New Zealand to China increased by 19.8 percent in 2021, accounting for 33 percent of New Zealand's total goods exports.
New Zealand has been active in multiple global trade engagements to support businesses in overcoming economic challenges, said O'Connor, highlighting the entry into force of the upgrade of its free trade agreement with China in April 2022.
"I see first-hand the vibrant and long-standing trade and economic links between New Zealand and China. The upgrade will modernize our existing 2008 agreement, ensuring that it is fit for purpose in today's trading environment," said O'Connor.
O'Connor also said "We welcome China's interest" in the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) as well as in the Digital Economy Partnership Agreement (DEPA).
O'Connor said he is proud to witness New Zealand enterprises exploring diverse business models and trade platforms in China and contributing to bilateral trade exchanges.
He mentioned the China International Import Expo (CIIE), saying that "New Zealand businesses are supported by the New Zealand government, which have been at every Expo since it first started in 2018."
"The CIIE has been a key platform for showcasing a broad range of New Zealand offerings into the China market. I am pleased that a number of New Zealand companies will be participating at this year's Expo," said O'Connor.
As the New Zealand border fully reopened on Sunday, O'Connor said he is looking forward to welcoming Chinese international students and tourists back.
"We will continue to invest in our trade and economic relationship with China, in the hope and expectation that it is one which continues to bring benefit to the people of both countries for a long time to come," said O'Connor.