Tremendous Opportunities Brought by China's New Round of Opening Up
------Remarks by Consul General Xu Erwen at the Reception in Taupo

(Wairakei Resort Taupo, 23 April 2018)

His Worship Mayor David Trewavas,

Deputy Mayor Ms. Rosie Harvey,

Hon. Tuariki Delamere, Political Adviser to King Tuheitia,

Hon. Te Kanawa, Senior Kaumatua, Tuwharetoa,

Respected MPs, Mayors and Councilors of Waikato Region,

Distinguished Guests,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Good Evening!

Thank you so much for joining us tonight. First of all, please allow me, on behalf of the Chinese Consulate General in Auckland, to extend our warmest welcome to all the distinguished guests present here. I am so delighted to host this event tonight in this beautiful city of Taupo. Chinese Consulate General in Auckland covers three very important regions of New Zealand, namely Waikato, Auckland and Northland. Our job is to promote friendship and cooperation in all areas between the consulate district and China. I am so proud that dynamic Taupo and Waikato region are situated in our consulate district. My colleagues and I attach great importance to this area and other districts in the Waikato Region as well. Today with me are some of my colleagues from the Consulate, Deputy Consul General and Consuls of education, commerce, culture and tourism and local government affairs, as well as some business representatives who are based in Auckland, including BOC, ICBC, CCB, China Travel Service, China Forestry Group and Shanghai Pengxin Group.

Ladies and gentlemen,

What I am going to share with you tonight is about the opportunities China’s new round of opening up and One belt one road bring to New Zealand and China New Zealand cooperation, Taupo, Waikato region included.

40 years ago, China made right decision to reform and open up. 40 years later “China’s door of opening up will not be closed, but will only open even wider” Declared by Chinese President Xi Jinping in his keynote speech at the BFA Annual Conference just a week ago. His speech fully reviewed the historic achievements of China’s reform and opening up over the past 40 years. Thanks to the reform and opening up policy, through the hard work and strenuous efforts by the Chinese people for 4 decades, China has grown into the world’s second largest economy, accounting for 15% of the world’s GDP, the largest manufacturer, the largest trader of merchandise, and the largest holder of foreign exchange reserves. 700 million people were lifted out of poverty. Reform and opening up policy has not only been instrumental to China’s social and economic transformation but also has made great contribution to the world peace and development. Over the past five years, China’s economy contributed 30% of the world economic growth which was the combined total of the US, Japan and Europe.

Reform and opening up is the strategic decision made by China based on its own need for development and a concrete action taken by China to move economic globalization forward in a way that benefits people across the world. It goes with the trend of the world, and was against protectionism. With the Chinese economy so integrated into the global economy, closing the door will only hinder our own economy. I am confident this new round of open door policy is bound to succeed. The 19th National Party congress of CPC and two sessions of Chinese people’s congress respectively held in Beijing last Oct and this March elected a strong leadership to lead the country as well as outlined the grand blue print for China’s future development by the middle of this century. China is committed to work together with the rest of the world to build a community of shared future for mankind to construct a peaceful, secure, prosperous, open and beautiful world. China will continue to be the builder of the world peace, contributor of the world growth and the defender of the world order.

At Boao conference, President Xi Jinping also announced a series of measures of opening up including significantly broadening market access to financial services, manufacture, elderly care, 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. We have a genuine desire to increase imports. In the coming five years, China is expected to import US$10 trillion worth of goods, attract US$600 billion worth of foreign investment and make a total of US$750 billion outbound investment. This November, we will hold the first China International Import Expo in Shanghai. I sincerely invite the friends from New Zealand and Taupo to seize this important opportunity and actively participate in this grand economic and trade cooperation event.

Ladies and gentlemen,

Five years ago, President Xi Jinping proposed "One Belt and One Road" initiative, which is also an important measure of China’s reform and opening up. One Belt One Road is a road of connectivity of policy, trade, financing, infrastructure and people to people exchanges and a road of tapping the comparative advantages of the countries along the belt and road to have win-win co-operations. In the past five years, this initiative has been warmly received by the international community. Currently, China's investment in countries along Belt and Road has reached US$60 billion and set up 75 economic and trade cooperation zones in over 20 countries. The “Belt and Road” 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 cooperation agreements with China involving in this initiative

The Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) may be China's idea, but 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. Last year we successfully held the first international forum on One Belt One Road, attended by 29 heads of states and government, representatives of more than 140 countries and 80 international organizations, and achieved over 270 deliverables. Now China is preparing to hold the second international forum for One Belt One Road next year. Our friends from New Zealand are most welcomed to participate.

New Zealand was the very first western country to sign cooperation agreement with China and New Zealand is the natural extension of 21st maritime Silk Road. Many early harvest has been achieved in BRI. Such as fast growing aviation connectivity and financial integration in recent years, more than 150 non-stop flights fly back and forth between major cities of China and Auckland per week. Each flight generates as much as 130 to 160 million US dollars on average to New Zealand per year and also brings many job opportunities. Air connection not only facilitated the people to people exchanges but also brought opportunities for investment and trade. China Construction Bank, Bank of China as well as Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) have opened or are going to open branches to operate in New Zealand too, which will provide high quality financial services to New Zealand and China New Zealand cooperation.

Ladies and gentlemen,

Ten years ago, New Zealand became the first western country to sign Free Trade Agreement with China. Over the past 10 years our bilateral trade was increased from 6.8 billion to 26.1 billion New Zealand Dollars and accounts for 20% of New Zealand import and export. Now China is New Zealand’s No one trading partner. Along with the fast growing trade, the co-operations in other areas have developed quickly as well .China has become New Zealand's largest source of international students, and second largest source of overseas tourists. Looking into the future, we are faced with more opportunities:

China and New Zealand's economies are highly complementary with each other. It is believed that the 100% pure and high quality New Zealand commodities will get more and more popular in Chinese market. For example, Fonterra, the New Zealand's largest company, made gross profit of New Zealand$390 million in the great China region last year, which accounted for one-fifth of its total gross profit. The Chinese diary companies of Pengxin and Yashili all have investment in this part of New Zealand, and have established their plants which have created many jobs for local people.

China’s new development concept featuring innovation, coordination, openness, greenness and shared development is very much in line with those of New Zealand., New Zealand is a very innovative and open economy and has accumulated lots of experience in this regard. In addition to primary industry, the “soft connections”, such as trade facilitation, supply chain connectivity, technological innovation, energy conservation, business consulting and financial integration, are also areas for further co-operations

New Zealand has gradually become the main destination of high-end tourism for Chinese tourists. 2019 will be china New Zealand tourist year. The Great Lake Taupo region is famous for its stunning natural scenery and adventure activities of sports, which will attract lots of tourists from China.

Taupo has unique advantages and potentials in many other sectors as primary industry, education and geothermal energy. Taupo has two sister and friendly city relationship with Suzhou and Shaoxing which are all prosperous cities in china. These sister city relationship has brought tangible benefit to both sides. On this special occasion, I would like to express my heartfelt thanks to His worship Major David Trewavas, the local government of Taupo and other local governments in this region for your valuable support to the cooperation between China and New Zealand, especially with this beautiful region.

Looking into the future, the potential is huge. It is my sincere hope that this region will grasp the opportunities of the fast growing China New Zealand relations, China new round of opening up and the joint construction of the Belt and Road, continue to expand its practical cooperation with the local provinces and municipalities in China to bring more benefits to peoples of both sides. It is also my sincere hope that you will continue to provide welcoming environment to Chinese business people and favorable policies for them to have cooperation. Through our joint efforts, I believe the bilateral ties will get stronger and we will surely push China-New Zealand comprehensive strategic partnership into new high. The friendship between our two countries and two peoples will last forever.

Wish you have wonderful time tonight!Thank you!

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