Openness, inclusiveness and cooperation are the principles that underlying the productive bilateral relationship between China and New Zealand
On April 20, 2018, Consul General of the Consulate-General of the People’s Republic of China in Auckland Xu Erwen delivered a speech at the high-level seminar on “New Zealand-China Economic and Trade Cooperation” held in Auckland, New Zealand. The event was organized by the Oceania Silk Road Network (OSRN). About 100 prominent representatives of New Zealand’s political, business, and academic circles attended the event. The event also marked the 1st anniversary of the establishment of the OSRN, the 5th anniversary of the “Belt and Road Initiative” (BRI), the 10th anniversary of the signing of the New Zealand-China Free Trade Agreement and the 40th anniversary of China’s reform and opening up.
Xu Erwen spoke on New Zealand – China Economic and Trade Cooperation High-level Seminar
Xu Erwen introduced in detail the important speech delivered by Chinese President Xi Jinping at the 2018 annual meeting of the Boao Forum for Asia. She said that President Xi’s speech reviewed the great course of 40 years of reform and opening up in China. The reform and opening-up policy has not only been instrumental to China’s social and economic progress but also has made a great contribution to the world peace and development. President Xi declared to the world that China is committed to working together with the rest of the world to build a community of shared future for mankind and to construct a peaceful, secure, prosperous, open and beautiful world. China’s opening door will not be closed and will only open even wider. This is the strategic decision made by the Chinese Government based on its need for development. It is also a concrete action taken by China to move economic globalization forward in a way that benefits people across the world.
Xu Erwen noted that the Boao Forum announced a series of major measures of opening up, including significantly broadening market access to banking, securities, insurance, manufacturing, health care and education etc., creating a more attractive investment environment, strengthening protection of intellectual property rights (IPR) and taking the initiative to expand imports. Xu Erwen emphasised that China’s reform and opening up will definitely open new prospects for a better future. China has a genuine desire to increase imports. This November, China will hold its first International Import Expo in Shanghai. Xu Erwen said that China sincerely invites all friends from New Zealand and other Oceanian countries to seize this important opportunity and actively participate in this grand economic and trade cooperation event.
Xu Erwen stated that the BRI proposed by President Xi Jinping in 2013 has been warmly received by the international community. In the past five years, China has invested approximately US$60 billion in the countries along the Belt and Road and has set up 75 economic and trade cooperation zones in over 20 countries, generating more than US$2 billion of tax revenue and 220,000 jobs for host countries. BRI has become an important global public product. It has received the support of over 100 countries and more than 80 countries and international organizations have signed a cooperation agreement with China relating to the initiative. The initiative has also been included in important resolutions passed by the UN General Assembly and Security Council. Through the implementation of policy coordination, facilities connectivity, unimpeded trade, financial integration, and people-to-people bonds, BRI infuses fresh vitality to the world’s economic growth, boosts confidence in globalization, and paves the way for building a community with a shared future for mankind.
Xu Erwen believes that while BRI is China’s idea, its opportunities and outcomes are going to benefit the world. As long as the parties embrace the principle of extensive consultation, joint contribution and shared benefits, we can surely make the BRI the broadest platform for international cooperation.
Xu Erwen also noted that 2018 marks the tenth anniversary of the China-New Zealand Free Trade Agreement. Over the past 10 years, China-New Zealand bilateral trade grew from NZ$6.8 billion to NZ$26.1 billion. China has been New Zealand’s largest trading partner for five consecutive years. As comprehensive strategic partners, China and New Zealand have maintained a good momentum of deepening mutual political trust and enhancing cooperation in all areas. Remarkable outcomes have been achieved in various fields such as trade, investment, interconnection, and cultural exchanges, particularly in the Auckland area.
Xu Erwen pointed out that the world we live in today is faced with challenges of rising unilateralism and trade protectionism. She believes that we should hold to the principles of openness, inclusiveness and cooperation in dealing with these challenges. It is these principles that underlying the productive bilateral relationship between China and New Zealand.