Linking Hawkes Bay and China
New Zealand China Council and the Hawkes Bay branch of ExportNZ jointly hosted a seminar in Hastings on 20 February. 40 representatives from business and community in the region attended the event.
Stephen Jacobi, Executive Director of NZ China Council spoke about the latest on the bilateral relationship, along with the upgrade to the 2008 Free Trade Agreement, and how co-operation under China’s Belt and Road Initiative could contribute to New Zealand’s relationship with China and what is meant for regions like Hawke’s Bay.
Commenting on the relationship more generally Mr Jacobi said “New Zealand has long benefited from a highly positive relationship with China which has withstood significant challenges. There are some signs that this is changing and we have to be alert to these signs and take steps to engage at the highest levels to explain our positions and to point to other aspects of the relationship which deliver value. Belt and Road is a case in point – a solid programme of co-operation under BRI could be an effective way to develop some new momentum in the relationship. It is great therefore to hear that Trade Minister Parker will be attending the April Belt and Road Forum in Beijing”
Two panellists, Pan Pac Managing Director Doug Ducker and Mission Estate Wines CEO Peter Holley, shared their experience on the challenges of doing business with China and thoughts on where New Zealand should be aiming to further develop the relationship with China.
“The relationship with China presents an opportunity for all of New Zealand, not just the large population centres. The seminar provided an opportunity for exporters in the region to discuss and map out how we can grow existing and new links between Hawke’s Bay and China.” says Mr. Jacobi.