Strong re­la­tion­ship re­warded

Com­mit­ment to the Chi­nese mar­ket shows ben­e­fits.

The Orchardist - - Avo Update -

While there is chat­ter about the re­la­tion­ship be­tween New Zealand and China at the high­est lev­els, I can con­firm the re­la­tion­ship at the mar­ket ac­cess level for hor­ti­cul­ture is very strong.

I have just re­turned from what has be­come an an­nual trip to Bei­jing to par­tic­i­pate on the New Zealand stand at the China Fruit and Veg­etable Fair, FVF. While the fair it­self is a lit­tle un­der­whelm­ing, the po­lit­i­cal im­por­tance is huge. The fair is spon­sored by the Gen­eral Ad­min­is­tra­tion of Cus­toms, a border agency su­per­vis­ing in­bound and out­bound ac­tiv­i­ties, and is at­tended by some very high-rank­ing of­fi­cials.

NZ’s par­tic­i­pa­tion is al­ways re­garded very highly, in both the meet­ings we have with the of­fi­cials and the din­ner we host for them. NZ Av­o­ca­dos joined Ap­ples & Pears NZ, and three ap­ple ex­porters, Per­sim­mons NZ, Onions NZ, a cherry ex­porter and Plant & Food Re­search on the NZ stand.

Not all in­dus­tries in­ter­ested in the China mar­ket at­tend, and I would en­cour­age them to do so. We have been at­tend­ing for five years now, four of those years we at­tended be­fore we had ac­cess. I be­lieve our at­ten­dance has demon­strated our in­dus­try’s com­mit­ment to the Chi­nese mar­ket, which in turn has sup­ported our ac­cess ne­go­ti­a­tions.

Fol­low­ing the for­mal open­ing cer­e­mony, the del­e­ga­tion goes through the show, and the NZ stand is the first port of call. The hand­shakes of recognition are al­ways very wel­com­ing and the Chi­nese en­joy hear­ing some of our sto­ries. At the din­ner, the of­fi­cial for­mal­i­ties are very friendly, and the con­ver­sa­tion is com­pli­men­tary of NZ’s com­mit­ment from MPI China and the in­dus­tries who sup­port the show.

An in­ter­est­ing com­ment was made by China in the meet­ing. Al­though NZ has had a few is­sues on the border with hor­ti­cul­ture prod­ucts, she said, as soon as there was an is­sue, the em­bassy would be in­formed. She was clearly say­ing that good be­hav­iour is a credit to us un­til that good be­hav­iour is no longer ex­pe­ri­enced. There is no such as thing as build­ing brownie points to use later.

There­fore, our in­dus­tries need to en­sure that very strong re­la­tion­ships are main­tained both with NZ’s own team in

Bei­jing, and with Chi­nese of­fi­cials, to deal with any is­sue if and when they arise.

In the more re­laxed sur­round­ings at din­ner, the of­fi­cials talked about the strength and length of the re­la­tion­ships, and high­lighted the very pos­i­tive re­la­tion­ship they have with the NZ Gov­ern­ment of­fi­cials in China.

Rather im­pres­sively too, we see the re­spect our of­fi­cials pay to the Chi­nese, with Dave Sa­muels, deputy di­rec­tor gen­eral, MPI China, singing a song at the din­ner in both Chi­nese and M-aori. All those at the din­ner were wowed by that, and I think we all qui­etly promised our­selves that we would learn more Te Reo M-aori be­fore the next visit!

“There is no such as thing as build­ing brownie points to use later.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.