Prime Minister, Chris Hipkins will next week lead a 29-strong business delegation to China, visiting Beijing, Tianjin and Shanghai.
While in China, the Prime Minister will also meet with the highest levels of China’s leadership including President Xi Jinping, Premier Li Qiang, and the Chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress Zhao Leji.
“Since becoming Prime Minister I’ve prioritised working in partnership with business to boost export growth in order to grow our economy,” Prime Minister Hipkins said today.
“China represents nearly a quarter of all our exports, was our second largest source of tourists pre-COVID and is a significant source of international students, so it’s a critical part of our economic recovery.
“The export of traditional goods like dairy, meat and wood to China remain important, but it’s critical we also throw our support behind emerging sectors such as gaming and health and wellness, and the make-up of the delegation reflects our objective of diversifying the breadth of our export offering.”
The delegation travelling to China also features representatives from New Zealand’s tourism and education sectors.
“Te Whānau a Apanui, champions of Te Matatini, will accompany the delegation and help promote New Zealand as a world class tourism destination.”
“This is a particularly timely opportunity to promote New Zealand’s tourism industry with direct airline connectivity out of China expected to return to around 75% of pre-Covid levels in the June quarter of 2023,” Mr Hipkins said.
In Beijing, the Prime Minister will meet with President Xi Jinping, Premier Li Qiang, and the Chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress, Zhao Leji.
“I’m looking forward to meeting with China’s leadership through various face to face bilateral meetings, where topics such as climate change, economic stability, regional and global security, human rights, and the war in Ukraine will be discussed,” Chris Hipkins said.
The Prime Minister will also take part in a range of events around business-to-business partnerships, including in climate change and sustainability and host a Gala dinner event with a focus on promoting New Zealand products and establishing business connections.
He will attend a sustainability forum, as well as a showcase event, which will spotlight New Zealand as a destination for tourism, education and high quality consumer products.
He will also give a keynote address at Peking University and hold a round table event to promote New Zealand international education.
The Prime Minister will be a guest at the opening of the World Economic Forum’s ‘Annual Meeting of New Champions’ in Tianjin.
While in Tianjin, he will participate in an event promoting New Zealand’s food and beverage sector.
In Shanghai, the Prime Minister will launch a significant tourism partnership on behalf of Tourism NZ, and host a number of high-level business engagements, and attend events highlighting New Zealand’s food producers, dairy, agri tech and creative industries.
He will also meet with senior Shanghai leadership.
“East China is an important hub for New Zealand businesses. I am looking forward to connecting with their China teams and partners in Shanghai, and to showcasing our innovative, world-class products and services in one of the world’s largest consumer markets,” Mr Hipkins said.
Prime Minister Hipkins will be accompanied by Trade and Export Growth Minister, Damien O’Connor and Tourism Minister, Peeni Henare. The delegation will be in China from 25 – 30 June.