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NZ Parliamentary Cross Party Delegation visits China

John Hayes ONZM
Chair, Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Select Committee
Parliamentary Private Secretary for Foreign Affairs

24 March 2014

NZ Parliamentary Cross Party Delegation visits China

Parliamentary Private Secretary for Foreign Affairs and Chair of the Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Parliamentary Select Committee John Hayes MP is leading a cross party delegation to China.

“A visit by the parliamentary delegation to China will help to broaden New Zealand's engagement with China, particularly as we will be visiting key provincial areas such as Yunnan. These areas have not previously been visited by parliamentarians and significant opportunities exist for tourism development and collaborative scientific activity in horticulture and forestry”, Mr Hayes said.

“China is a huge country with great diversity. A successful and sustainable long term partnership depends on broader political engagement and a focus on provinces where New Zealand can work collaboratively. Since the mid 1990’s there have been many high level visits to China but never by the Foreign Affairs Defence and Trade Select Committee and never to some of the areas the delegation will visit”, Mr Hayes said.

The delegation will also visit Xi’an to view newly opened facilities which allow the importation of containers directly from New Zealand, and will meet with provincial officials and local businessmen who have invested in New Zealand businesses.

While in Beijing the delegation will meet with their parliamentary counterpart and host Ms Fu Ying, Chair of the NPC Foreign Affairs Committee, as well as Vice-Minister Yu Hongjun, Vice Chairman Chen Yuan, key officials, and New Zealand businesses and importers based in China with a view to reporting to Parliament on ideas for future collaboration.

Prime Minister John Key arrived in China last week and announced an ambitious new trade goal with China. The previous goal was to double two-way trade to $20 billion by 2015 but as the $18 billion mark has already been passed, that target has been increased to $30 billion by 2015. With this new goal in mind the Prime Minister has also committed more resources to grow the region.

“Our bilateral relationship with China is one of New Zealand’s most important. We need to be thinking more creatively about how Parliament can contribute more actively to help ensure that our trade relationship is underpinned by stronger people to people relationships”, Mr Hayes said.

The delegation will be travel to China from 21 – 31 March and includes MP’s John Hayes, Rt Hon Winston Peters, Hon Phil Goff, Dr Paul Hutchison and David Shearer. The delegation is travelling at the invitation of the National People’s Congress.

ENDS

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