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Speaker to lead Parliamentary and Trade Delegation to China

Office of the Speaker of the House of Representatives

18 October 2016

Speaker to lead Parliamentary and Trade Delegation to China

Providing Parliamentarians with a strong understanding of the opportunities and challenges for New Zealand businesses in China, while engaging in high-level discussions with China’s leadership, will be the focus of an upcoming delegation led by the Speaker, Rt Hon David Carter MP. The delegation includes Ian McKelvie MP (National), Stuart Nash MP (Labour), Eugenie Sage MP (Green), and Pita Paraone MP (NZ First). The specific emphasis of the delegation is broadening understanding of the developing regions in Western China and their relevance to New Zealand, strengthening relationships with China at the political level, and exploring opportunities for enhanced trade and investment ties in the areas of agritech and horticulture.

The Speaker of the House, Rt Hon David Carter, is looking forward to building on New Zealand’s warm relationship with the National People’s Congress (NPC) of China and the broader bilateral relationship, which is characterised by cooperation on multiple levels, such as education, tourism, trade, and people-to-people links.

“It is a privilege to lead this high-level parliamentary and trade delegation representing New Zealand to The People’s Republic of China, one of our most important relationships. I am honoured to have been invited by my counterpart, Chairman Zhang Dejiang, as an official guest of the NPC. New Zealand was the first developed country in the world to sign a free trade agreement (FTA) with China in 2008. Since then our trade and economic relationship has grown significantly, with China now our largest two-way goods trading partner, and our second-largest goods and services export market. Therefore, discussing future enhancements to the FTA is a key priority.”

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The Speaker explained that relations between countries are no longer the exclusive domain of governments, “Inter-Parliamentary Relations are an increasingly important part of modern international affairs. For example, the open nature of the world economy and trade has made the term “economic diplomacy” commonplace, and business people have become an integral part of growing bilateral relationships. Similarly, Speaker-led diplomacy can make an important contribution to advancing New Zealand’s interests. It is my belief that this delegation of parliamentarians and business people will grow New Zealand’s profile in China and form many fruitful relationships that will endure for years to come.”

The wide-ranging programme begins in Shanghai with formal briefings from the New Zealand Embassy. It includes time in Yunnan Province to learn about, and visit, agricultural projects in which New Zealand has been involved. Following this, the delegation will head to Hohhot in Inner Mongolia where the delegation will meet with Chinese dairy companies Yili (visiting an ultra-high temperature milk processing plant) and Mengniu, both of which have substantial investments in New Zealand dairy. The delegation will also meet with provincial leaders from both provinces before concluding their programme in Beijing with meetings with the NPC leadership and discussions on agricultural and trade relationship.

The Parliamentarians will be joined by senior representatives of Miraka Limited, Quality Consultants NZ, Zespri International Ltd, Esquires Coffee, Fonterra, AsureQuality Consulting, BBC Technologies, Wiki Design and Consultancy Limited, and Verismo Media Limited.

The Speaker-led Delegation to China takes place from 23 to 29 October 2016.

ENDS

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