Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 


Q+A: Susan Wood interviews Arthur Loo

Sunday 7th April, 2013
 
Q+A: Susan Wood interviews Arthur Loo
 
Auckland Chinese community leader says New Zealand has nothing to fear from Chinese investment:
 
A highly respected member of the Auckland Chinese community says that if New Zealand is going to have a debate about Chinese investment in the country it should be a debate about all overseas investment.
 
Auckland Chinese Community Centre chairman Arthur Loo told TV One’s Q+A programme that, for example, all of New Zealand’s major banks are foreign-owned, meaning billions of dollars flow out of the country, and that the percentage of NZ farmland owned by Chinese was tiny in comparison to Australian, American, the UK and the Dutch.
 
Loo is currently visiting China as part of Prime Minister John Key’s trade delegation.  He told Q+A’s Susan Wood that NZ had nothing more to fear from Chinese investment than it did from investment from any other major country.
 
“It’s a business relationship, so a business relationship, irrespective of who you are contracting with, there are always ups and downs…China is a major power now, a major trading nation, so we’ve got to make the most of our opportunities. You know, New Zealand doesn’t produce enough of its own capital. You know, we don’t supply our own capital. So the only way we’re going to get capital is through trading and doing business with other countries, and one of those other countries has to be China.”
 
Q+A, 9-10am Sundays on TV ONE and one hour later on TV ONE plus 1. Repeated Sunday evening at 11:30pm. Streamed live at www.tvnz.co.nz   
 
Thanks to the support from NZ On Air.
 
Q+A is on Facebook, http://www.facebook.com/NZQandA#!/NZQandA and on Twitter, http://twitter.com/#!/NZQandA
 
 
 
 
Q+A
 
SUSAN WOOD INTERVIEWS ARTHUR LOO
 
SUSAN WOOD
Arthur Loo is a Chinese Kiwi who’s done well. He’s chairman of the Auckland Chinese Community, partner in Loo and Koo Barristers and Solicitors, Australasia’s largest South-East Asian-focused law firm, and he’s on the Prime Minister’s trade trip to China. Mr Loo is also involved in a lot of community work and has earned the Queen’s Service Medal. Just before he left for China I asked him the significance of the large delegation and the trip to China.
 
ARTHUR LOO, Auckland Chinese Community Chairperson
I think it’s significant, not only from the Chinese perspective but from the New Zealand perspective. I mean, we Chinese who live in New Zealand are, I think, you know, quite excited that he is going, and it’s a significant event, because he is visiting China at an early stage of the new Chinese leadership.
 
SUSAN          Yes, how important is it for our prime minister to meet this leadership? Because all things being equal, they will be there for some time.
 
ARTHUR       A lot of it is symbolic. Chinese people set great store on face to face meeting, face to face contact. You know, it’s not stuff that you can do over the telephone or now via the internet. So it’s important, I think, that our leadership is there meeting the new Chinese leaders.
 
SUSAN          And a prime minister and we’re talking many ministers on this, they hold a lot of mana, don’t they, in China? It really is an important thing.
 
ARTHUR       Yes. Again, Chinese set great store on status, so having several cabinet ministers there indicates to them that, you know, New Zealand takes the relationship seriously and that we have so many people of status along on the delegation.
 
SUSAN          How do we measure the success of a trip like this? We will no doubt have announcements of this bit of business and that bit of business, but how do we actually measure the success?
 
ARTHUR       I’m not sure that it is immediately measureable. It’ll be through, I guess, the goodwill of the Chinese government towards New Zealand. It’s part of the on-going relationship that New Zealand has developed with China, I think. China has a fairly good benign view of New Zealand, and therefore I think, you know, we’re fortunate to have Prime Minister Key go and visit so soon after President Xi has taken office.
 
SUSAN          How deep, though, how real is that relationship? You look at our relationship with Australia, and we are very close. It’s like cousins. America we’re even very, very good friends with now. But how would you characterise the New Zealand-Chinese relationship?
 
ARTHUR       I think it’s warm. As the previous premier said, it’s probably never been better. So I think it’s a very strong relationship. I don’t think we should underestimate how, I think, well regarded we are by the Chinese and the Chinese government, through some of the things that we’ve done in the past. You know, credit where credit’s due. I think the Helen Clark government did a lot to, I think, encourage that relationship.
 
SUSAN          They like the independent voice of New Zealand, don’t they? They like the fact that we will walk our own path and not necessarily follow the Americans or anybody else.
 
ARTHUR       Yes, I think that’s very true.
 
SUSAN          How much influence does that give us, that independent voice, in the Pacific, when we are poised at the bottom of the region -as we all know, the greatest growth region in the world?
 
ARTHUR       I think it’s important, because China regards New Zealand as being principled and having the spine to adopt a reasonably independent view, independent stance in international politics. Just because we haven’t jumped to, say, the American’s tune necessarily. And so I think China, you know, admires that degree of independence.
 
SUSAN          Five years of FTA with China. The first in the world. Our exports have tripled to nearly $7 billion over that time. But are we doing enough? Are our businesses getting in there, investing and doing enough?
 
ARTHUR       We could certainly do better. I mean, New Zealanders are very innovative. I think we’re easy to get along with. We’re very approachable. So, you can’t measure, I guess, our success just in the immediate terms. I think we could do better in our relationships. New Zealanders, I think, have got to understand that they’ve got to persevere. We’ve got to realise that the whole world is beating a path to the door of China and, you know, people in China do not wake up in the mornings thinking about New Zealand. We have to be persistent. We have to be smarter. We have to play to our strengths. The things that we are good at doing, the products that we are good at producing.
 
SUSAN          Maori. We have a lot of tribal settlements here. Dr Pita Sharples, again, going to China. Do you see some very real relationships developing between Maori, who have money and can do things with it, and Chinese?
 
ARTHUR       Certainly. I know that the minister has already led two delegations to China. But one of the things that I think Maori maybe could look at is to look at doing business with some of the minority groups in China. I mean, the Han people are the majority, but there are 50-odd other minority groups in China, and some of them are quite significant and I think the Chinese leadership would quite like that. I think it’s a nice story that the one indigenous group is doing business with another indigenous group.
 
SUSAN          Why are New Zealanders so afraid of China? I mean, Americans can come and buy our farmland, the Australians can come and buy our farmland, James Cameron can come and buy whatever he wants to by - no one says peep. The Chinese come in and buy Crafar Farms and we are all up in arms about it. Why?
 
ARTHUR       I’m not sure that we could say that all New Zealanders are afraid. I mean, segments of society, I think, maybe get a bit more strident when there is some aspects of Chinese investment. But I think by and large New Zealanders-
 
SUSAN          Should we be worried about Chinese investment?
 
ARTHUR       Well, I don’t think it’s particularly Chinese investment, but if we’re going to have a debate about overseas investment, we should have a debate about all overseas investment. I mean, for example, all our banks are foreign owned, and billions flow out through our banks. You know, the percentage of farmland that Chinese own is tiny in comparison to Australian, American, United Kingdom and Dutch. So, you know, I think the Crafar Farms was an unfortunate point. But, you know, I think we’re going to get over it. I think the Chinese understand that in an open democratic society that somebody can challenge the process, and it doesn’t necessarily represent the view of all New Zealanders.
 
SUSAN          Do we have anything to fear from China?
 
ARTHUR       Not necessarily. I mean, no more than we have to fear from any major country that we do business with. I mean, it’s a business relationship, so a business relationship, irrespective of who you are contracting with, there are always ups and downs. I think, as I said before, China has a fairly benign relationship with us. You know, China is a major power now, a major trading nation, so we’ve got to make the most of our opportunities. You know, New Zealand doesn’t produce enough of its own capital. You know, we don’t supply our own capital. So the only way we’re going to get capital is through trading and doing business with other countries, and one of those other countries has to be China.
 
SUSAN          Arthur Loo, thank you for your time this morning.
 
ARTHUR       You’re very welcome.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell:
On Pharmac, Gough Whitlam And Sleater-Kinney

Ridiculous reported comments on RNZ this morning by Trade Minister Tim Groser, as he sought to dampen down concerns about the leaked draft of the IP chapter of ther Trans Pacific Partnership negotiations. According to Groser, ‘extreme’ positions are common at the outset of negotiations, and these get whittled down over the course of negotiations. Fine.

Except that we’re not at the outset of these negotiations. The outset was six years ago, and negotiators were hoping to have some sort of ‘framework’ deal finished in time for the APEC meeting in a few weeks’ time. These ‘extreme’ positions are what we’ve reached near the intended end of the negotiations.

Still, Groser did promise that the cost of medicines would not rise as a result of the TPP trade deal. Great. But this is not what politicians in other countries are saying. More>>

.

 
 

Parliament Today:

PM Of Many Hats: October 22 — Parliament Today

Dr RUSSEL NORMAN (Co-Leader – Green) to the Prime Minister: How many times since November 2008 has he spoken with blogger Cameron Slater on the phone and how many times, if any, has he texted him?
Rt Hon JOHN KEY (Prime Minister): None in my capacity as Prime Minister. More>>

ALSO:

Aussie Investigation Dropped: Call On Minister McCully To Pursue The Case Of Balibo Five

West Papua Action is deeply concerned at the lack of any clear outcome from the Australian Federal Police inquiry into the 1975 deaths of the ‘Balibo Five’ including NZ journalist Gary Cunningham. More>>

ALSO:

'Feed The Kids' Bill: Metiria Turei To Lead Fight On Feeding Hungry Children

Green Party Co-leader Metiria Turei is urging all political parties to support the Feed the Kids Bill which she inherited today from Mana leader Hone Harawira. More>>

Parliament Today: State Opening Of Parliament

The House sat at 10.30am on Tuesday before MPs were summoned to hear the Speech from the Throne in the Legislative Council Chamber. More>>

ALSO:

Tertiary Education: Students Doing It Tough As Fees Rise Again

The Government is making it increasingly difficult for Kiwis to gain tertiary education as fees continue to rise and access to student support becomes even more restricted, Labour’s Tertiary Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. More>>

ALSO:

Housing, Iraq: PM Press Conference – 20 October 2014

Prime Minister John Key met with press today to discuss:
• Housing prices and redevelopment in Auckland
• Discussions with Tony Abbott on the governmental response to ISIS, and New Zealand’s election to the UN Security Council More>>

ALSO:

Labour: Review Team Named, Leadership Campaign Starts

Labour’s New Zealand Council has appointed Bryan Gould as Convenor of its post-General Election Review. He will be joined on the Review Team by Hon Margaret Wilson, Stacey Morrison and Brian Corban.

ALSO:

Roy Morgan Poll: National Slips, Labour Hits Lows

The first New Zealand Roy Morgan Poll since the NZ Election shows National 43.5% (down 3.54% since the September 20 Election). This isn’t unusual, National support has dropped after each of John Key’s Election victories... However, support for the main opposition Labour Party has crashed to 22.5% (down 2.63% and the lowest support for Labour since the 1914 NZ Election as United Labour). More>>

ALSO:

In On First Round: New Zealand Wins Security Council Seat

Prime Minister John Key has welcomed New Zealand securing a place on the United Nations Security Council for the 2015-16 term. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news