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Chinese co-ops first to step through treaty door

MEDIA RELEASE : New Zealand Cooperatives Association
7 April 2008

Chinese co-ops first to step through NZ trade treaty door

China's cooperatives are wasting no time. Just three days after the signing of the free trade agreement between New Zealand and China, a delegation from the All China Federation of Supply and Marketing Cooperatives (ACFSMC) will be arriving in Wellington to talk trade with New Zealand cooperatives.

On Thursday 10 April, H.E. Bai Lichen, Vice President of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference as well as President of the ACFSMC, will be welcomed with the delegation at a reception at Parliament Building hosted by Minister of Agriculture, Biosecurity, Fisheries and Forestry, Hon Jim Anderton.

"While a significant number of New Zealand cooperatives with an eye on exporting into the growing Chinese market will have a presence at Parliament," said Cooperatives Association chairperson Peter Macdougall, "this relationship will not be overlooked by cooperatives that import from China."

Responsible in 2006 for an aggregated import and export trade of US$5.42bn, the ACFSMC delegation is keen to discuss both import and export possibilities with New Zealand cooperatives. New Zealand co-ops are keenly aware that China is currently NZ's fourth largest trading partner, taking more than $1.6bn of merchandise exports and over $1bn of services.

An important reason for the ACFSMC delegation's visit is their strong belief - which comes from experience - that cooperatives are trusted business partners. Cooperation among cooperatives is one of the seven principles of the International Cooperative Alliance, and research has shown that consumers place more trust in goods and services produced by a cooperative than by any other kind of business.

During their stay, the delegation will be meeting with Fonterra Cooperative Group in Auckland and LIC in Hamilton, as well as receive a presentation from cooperative consultant James Morrison.

In Wellington, Alastair Hercus of Buddle Findlay will give the delegation a presentation outlining New Zealand cooperative law, and New Zealand Cooperatives Association Executive Director Ramsey Margolis will offer an outline of the New Zealand cooperative movement to the delegation, go through reasons for its success, and offer some thoughts on how the Chinese cooperative movement can make good use of the .coop global internet space.

ENDS

About the New Zealand Cooperatives Association

The New Zealand Cooperatives Association aims to:
* encourage, promote and advance cooperative enterprise
* act as representative association for those engaged as cooperatives
* promote discussion and cooperation with decision makers at all levels of government to further the interest of the cooperative movement
* provide services and expertise to those engaged in the cooperative movement and carry out research into all aspects of the movement
* collect, verify and publish information relating to the cooperative movement

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