The Minister for Trade and Export Growth, David Parker completes an official visit to China today, including talks with his ministerial counterparts in the trade and environment portfolios, taking yet another step in this Government’s work to deliver a modern, sustainable economy for New Zealanders.
In Beijing, David Parker held official meetings with Chinese Minister of Commerce Zhong Shan, Minister of Ecology and Environment Li Ganjie, and the Vice Chair of the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) Ning Jizhe, and attended the second Belt and Road Forum.
“My meetings with Chinese ministers on important issues of shared interest, included discussions on tourism, international rules, the environment, climate change and the successful completion of our FTA Upgrade negotiations as soon as possible”, David Parker said.
“Commerce Minister Zhong Shan and I agreed to take the next step with the FTA upgrade following on from the agreement between Premier Li Keqiang and Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern during her visit to China earlier this month.
“The Belt and Road Forum provided a further opportunity for China and New Zealand to discuss possible avenues and opportunities for effective, transparent cooperation under a Belt and Road work plan.
“The New Zealand-China trade relationship reached a new high of NZ$30 billion in two-way trade last year, across goods and services, and the latest figures show a big increase in exports to China in March, which reached NZ$1.5 billion. New Zealand is proud to be one of China’s top five sources of imported food, and China is our largest source of imports.
“I was pleased to visit Guangzhou and Beijing with a trade delegation of New Zealand business people.
“My trade delegation of 17 high-level business leaders represented the full range of New Zealand’s goods and services trade with China, including companies active in tourism, air links, food and beverage, fashion, the creative sector, and manufacturing,” David Parker said.
Guangzhou is an economic powerhouse and a key city for New Zealand businesses operating in China. Guangdong province provides more Chinese tourists and students to New Zealand than any other region of the country. During his visit to Guangzhou, David Parker held talks with Guangdong Governor Ma Xingrui.
This has been David Parker’s second official visit to China following his trip to Shanghai in November to attend the China International Import Expo.
He returns to New Zealand on Saturday.