Deep­en­ing ties unite NZ and Asia

China hosts a week-long ex­change of meet­ings de­signed to bol­ster trade

Global Times – Metro Shanghai - - FRONT PAGE - By Feng Yu

Adel­e­ga­tion of nine mem­bers from the Asia New Zealand Foun­da­tion (ANZF) paid a week-long visit to China from Au­gust 24-30 en­gag­ing in mul­ti­ple ex­changes and dis­cus­sions with of­fi­cials, ex­perts, schol­ars and busi­ness rep­re­sen­ta­tives from dif­fer­ent fields in China.

Lead by John Lux­ton, chair of ANZF and a for­mer New Zealand gov­ern­ment min­is­ter, the del­e­ga­tion also in­cluded two jour­nal­ists and a youth del­e­gate from Fon­terra, a New Zealand dairy co­op­er­a­tive, as ob­servers.

Mr Lux­ton told the Global Times at a din­ner party hosted by the New Zealand Con­sul-Gen­eral in Shang­hai, Ms Guer­gana Guer­manoff, that trips to China have al­ways proved too short for him and his col­leagues. The del­e­ga­tion re­ported that they found new sim­i­lar­i­ties among the dif­fer­ences be­tween the two coun­tries dur­ing this trip.

The ANZF was founded in 1994 to im­prove New Zealan­ders’ knowl­edge and un­der­stand­ing of coun­tries in Asia. The foun­da­tion re­ceives fund­ing from the New Zealand gov­ern­ment as well as from cor­po­ra­tions and phil­an­thropic or­ga­ni­za­tions. It builds part­ner­ships with in­flu­en­tial or­ga­ni­za­tions in New Zealand and Asia to pro­vide high-level fo­rums, cul­tural events, in­ter­na­tional col­lab­o­ra­tions and pro­fes­sional de­vel­op­ment op­por­tu­ni­ties.

The four-leg trip started in Beijing and ended in Shang­hai.

At the New Zealand am­bas­sador’s of­fi­cial res­i­dence in Beijing, two eco­nomic and trade round­tables were held be­tween the del­e­ga­tion, staff from the em­bassy and ex­perts, pro­fes­sors and of­fi­cials from Chi­nese gov­ern­ment de­part­ments and re­search in­sti­tu­tions.

From the cap­i­tal, the del­e­ga­tion then headed north­east to the Grand Farms at Zhaodong Eco­nomic De­vel­op­ment Zone, in North­east China’s Heilongjiang Prov­ince on Au­gust 26.

The farm visit was fol­lowed by a meet­ing at the Nes­tle Dairy Farm­ing In­sti­tute in Ji­uyuan vil­lage, also in Heilongjiang.

And in or­der to learn more about Alibaba’s global e-com­merce “ecosys­tem”, in­clud­ing its work with the New Zealand mar­ket, the del­e­ga­tion paid a visit to Alibaba’s head­quar­ters in Hangzhou, cap­i­tal of East China’s Zhe­jiang Prov­ince.

Sam Yoon, a post­grad­u­ate re­search grant re­cip­i­ent and youth del­e­gate ob­server from the ANZF, told the Global Times that Alibaba im­pressed him so much that he would like to work for the com­pany.

At the Shang­hai Acad­emy of So­cial Sciences, three round­tables were or­ga­nized on the themes of China’s econ­omy, re­gional trade is­sues, and the Belt and Road ini­tia­tive.

On the topic of eco­nomic growth, ques­tions such as “How is China re­bal­anc­ing its econ­omy to­ward do­mes­tic con­sump­tion and in­creased pro­duc­tiv­ity?” and “How will this im­pact on China’s future growth tar­gets?” were raised in a Q&A for­mat.

On the topic of fi­nan­cial re­form, par­tic­i­pants dis­cussed top­ics such as “What poli­cies is China putting in place to open up the fi­nance, banking and in­vest­ment sec­tors? What lies ahead for yuan in­ter­na­tion­al­iza­tion?” and “Will the cur­rency be­come fully con­vert­ible in future?”

Around the is­sue of State Owned En­ter­prises re­form, dis­cus­sions tack­led ques­tions such as “What progress has China made with re­form of SOEs” and “What does the future hold for SOE re­form?”

For the round­table on re­gional trade is­sues, and glob­al­iza­tion and pro­tec­tion­ism, ques­tions raised in­cluded “What are some of the views in China on the is­sues of glob­al­iza­tion vs pro­tec­tion­ism in 2017?”

Ques­tions con­cern­ing free trade in the Asia Pa­cific Q&A in­cluded “What progress is be­ing made on bi­lat­eral free trade agree­ments be­tween China and other economies in the re­gion?” and “What are some of the main views in China on Re­gional Com­pre­hen­sive Eco­nomic Part­ner­ship (RCEP) and pos­si­bil­i­ties for the Free Trade Area of the Asia-Pa­cific (FTAAP).”

Mean­while, the topic of the dig­i­tal econ­omy was based around ques­tions of “What are the im­pacts of the dig­i­tal econ­omy for trade be­tween China and the rest of the world?” and “How can con­sumers’ and busi­nesses’ rights be pro­tected (e.g. pri­vacy, IP) without restrict­ing trade?”

Food se­cu­rity was placed as the fourth topic of the round­table dis­cus­sion, tack­ling the ques­tion of “How is China ap­proach­ing the is­sue of food se­cu­rity and food safety in an in­creas­ingly in­ter­con­nected global en­vi­ron­ment?”

In the Belt and Road ini­tia­tive round­table, top­ics and ques­tions in­cluded: “How has the 21st Cen­tury Mar­itime Silk Road ini­tia­tive de­vel­oped since it was in­tro­duced? How does the Mar­itime Silk Road and the China-Ocea­nia-South Pa­cific Blue Eco­nomic Pas­sage sup­port mar­itime co­op­er­a­tion and eco­nomic con­nec­tiv­ity in the re­gion?” and “How does the Belt and Road ini­tia­tive sup­port China’s for­eign and trade pol­icy with re­spect to Ocea­nia and the Pa­cific re­gion?”

Photo: CFP

A per­son takes pic­tures in New Zealand.

Pho­tos: Cour­tesy of ANZF and Feng Yu/GT

(Left) John Lux­ton, chair­man of ANZF; Guer­gana Guer­manoff, New Zealand Con­sul-Gen­eral in Shang­hai

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from China

© PressReader. All rights reserved.