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China New Zealand’s Fastest Growing International Science Partner: Report

July 6, 2023

China is New Zealand’s fastest-growing major international partner in co-producing scientific publications, according to a new report commissioned by the New Zealand China Council.

The report shows the share of New Zealand research co-authored with China increased from 7.7% to 11.6% between 2017 and 2022.

Among New Zealand’s major research partners, this share is lower than Australia, where 16.7% of all publications included Chinese co-authors in 2022, and similar to the United Kingdom (11.8%).

Collaborative Horizons: Exploring Science and Research Partnerships between New Zealand and China also shows China now ranks fourth as an international research partner for New Zealand, behind Australia (20.0%), the US (17.5%) and the UK (14.2%), and ahead of Germany (6.5%).

Council Chair John McKinnon says the report points to China as one of New Zealand’s leading research partners across multiple disciplines.

“Scientific and wider academic research collaboration and partnership between New Zealand and China deserves more recognition for the value it generates.

“Benefits to New Zealand include accelerated access to medical breakthroughs, biosecurity preparedness against invasive pests, a better understanding of our ocean environment, fruit species improvement and sustainable development of our tourism sector,” McKinnon says.

The report also identifies challenges and barriers to science and research collaboration with China, including limited funding opportunities and the need to manage risks associated with projects involving overseas partners.

“As the scope of science and research collaboration between New Zealand and China continues to expand, we need to keep clear and transparent processes in place to ensure research is for the right, positive purposes.

“Only in this way we can continue to benefit from collaboration that underpins the success of our exports, contributes to the sustainability of our agricultural sector, and delivers better health outcomes for New Zealanders, sooner,” McKinnon says.

The full report can be accessed here.

For media enquiries, please contact info@nzchinacouncil.org.nz or 09 379 4641.

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