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Remarks to Jiangsu Technology Delegation

October 13, 2017


女士们, 先生们, 大家好!

nǚ shì men , xiān shēng men , dà jiā hǎo!


huān yíng lái dào xīn xī lán!

It is good to be with you today and to welcome you to New Zealand.

I do so on behalf of the New Zealand China Council and I convey the greetings of our Chairman, Rt Hon Sir Don McKinnon.

I am grateful to the New Zealand China (Suzhou) Innovation Centre for giving me this opportunity and I congratulate the Centre for all they are doing to build strong innovation and technology links between our two countries.

The New Zealand China Council is dedicated to deepening and strengthening the relationship between China and New Zealand.

With members drawn from the Government, business and the wider community, we work at a strategic level to create the best possible environment for the relationship both in New Zealand and with our friends in China.

China and New Zealand are already good friends and strong partners, co-operating actively across a range of areas.

We here in New Zealand are very proud of the ground-breaking FTA which entered into force in 2008.

New Zealand was the first developed country to sign an FTA with China – one of the many “firsts” in our relationship.

Now we are in the process of upgrading the FTA to ensure it remains relevant into the future and to incorporate new business models.

Beyond trade, China is important to New Zealand as a source of imports, foreign investment, tourists and students, and now also as a technology partner.

The New Zealand China Innovation Centre seeks to enable better scientific engagement with China, bringing together researchers together across New Zealand in many areas.

International science and innovation connections are important for a small, outward-looking and highly creative nation like New Zealand.

Such connections bring new ideas, technology and sources of funding into New Zealand, and are crucial for the export of new and innovative technologies.

Connectivity is also an important element of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).

Earlier this year, in the course of the visit by Premier Li Keqiang, New Zealand and China signed a Memorandum of Arrangement to identify those areas where we can co-operate under BRI – another first for the relationship.

The New Zealand China Council has commissioned a major piece of research to contribute to this process and I am pleased to say that innovation is one of the areas we are exploring in greater detail.

New Zealand may not be among the largest of China’s friends, but we have a reputation as a highly innovative and successful developed economy.

We are certainly able to assist with developing new ideas for business, economic and technological co-operation.

That’s why your visit to New Zealand is so important.

By coming here you will have the opportunity to share business ideas and develop new projects.

This will help us work together to grow New Zealand’s knowledge capital and to build a strong and resilient relationship between our two countries well into the future.

The New Zealand China Council is delighted to co-operate with the New Zealand China (Suzhou) Innovation Centre and to welcome you to New Zealand and to this city of Auckland today.

Stephen Jacobi, Executive Director, New Zealand China Council 

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