Keeping pace with China in 2023: New Zealand's think tank
Many kiwis with experience of modern China are familiar with the concept of "China speed," and New Zealand will need to get out of the blocks fast in its relationship with China in the Year of the Rabbit, New Zealand China Council Executive Director Alistair Crozier said.
The op-ed was originally published on interest.co.nz on Monday.
Like other countries China can be expected to soon enter an equally fast-changing period of social and economic recovery, Crozier said.
A strong political relationship underpins New Zealand's bilateral engagement with China, New Zealand's largest trade partner, he said, adding in this regard New Zealand stands in good stead as the Year of the Rabbit gets underway.
The New Zealand government has emphasized that while differences between the two countries will have to be discussed and managed, "We will seek do so predictably and respectfully while also focusing on opportunities for cooperation," he said.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, China helped to fuel New Zealand's economy through a challenging period as New Zealand's exports to China and imports from China both rose greatly in 2021, Crozier said.
"CEOs, boards and market managers across key sectors will need to prioritize an early visit back to China if they are to remind themselves of its dynamism and potential, cement personal relationships, and understand for themselves how market strategies will need to adjust to China's challenges and opportunities in 2023 and beyond."
China has moved on from its long-held reputation as "the world's factory" to become one of the world's leading innovators, a global leader in research, tech and other areas which now produces more high-quality science than any other country, Crozier cited a recent science.org report as saying.
It is the world's largest producer of electric vehicles (EVs) and EV batteries, and solar and wind energy machinery for example, all green technologies that New Zealand requires in greater volume, he said, adding joint NZ-China research is being conducted across a surprisingly wide range of other areas.