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Premier highlights economic potential

By CAO DESHENG in Auckland, New Zealand | CHINA DAILY | Updated: 2024-06-15 07:20
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Premier Li Qiang addresses a meeting with representatives of New Zealand's business community in Auckland, New Zealand, June 14, 2024. [Photo/Xinhua]

China's efforts to restructure its economy through upgrading of consumption, industries and trade to promote high-quality growth will bring new opportunities for global development, Premier Li Qiang said on Friday.

While addressing a meeting with representatives of New Zealand's business community in Auckland, the country's economic center, Li also reiterated China's commitment to opening-up and improving the business environment.

The premier is on a three-day official visit to New Zealand, which is set to conclude on Saturday. He will then fly to Australia, the second leg of his three-nation tour, which will also take him to Malaysia.

Li said that China is comprehensively advancing its modernization drive with high-quality development. Consumption upgrades will unleash new market demand, leading to increasing demand for high-quality goods, such as dairy products, beef, lamb and health supplements from New Zealand, he said.

Noting that China's middle-income group consists of around 500 million people, the premier said that such a huge group, which may nearly double over the next decade, is sure to lead consumption upgrades and continue to drive demand for high-quality goods in the market.

He noted that China's high-quality development highlights the acceleration of industrial transformation and upgrading, and vigorously promotes digital, intelligent and green development.

Li said that industrial upgrading will open up new areas of cooperation, with emerging sectors including new energy, information technology and biomedicine presenting more business opportunities.

"We welcome more New Zealand enterprises to strengthen cooperation with their Chinese counterparts, especially through collaboration in industrial and supply chains to expand more business opportunities."

In terms of upgrading the trade structure, Li emphasized that this will create new room for growth and accelerate the release of cooperation potential for both countries in fields including trade in services and cross-border e-commerce.

During the meeting, Li assured the New Zealand business community that China's door remains open to companies from around the world, with further market access expansion and ongoing efforts to create a world-class, market-oriented business environment governed by a sound legal framework to facilitate foreign companies investing and developing businesses in China.

Around 20 business executives from New Zealand, including from the Auckland Business Chamber, the New Zealand-China Trade Association and Air New Zealand, attended the meeting.

They affirmed the close economic and trade ties between New Zealand and China, acknowledging that China's development has provided vast market opportunities for New Zealand enterprises.

Miles Hurrell, CEO of Fonterra Co-operative Group, which has been operating in China for over 40 years, said that his company is confident in the Chinese market over the long run.

"Opportunities exist for us to collaborate in addressing the challenges and in shaping our future together. These opportunities have underpinned a long-term commitment to the Chinese market," he said at the meeting.

"We will continue to deepen our partnership in innovation and in sustainability. We are excited about the opportunities that lie ahead and committed to working alongside our Chinese partners and customers to achieve mutual success."

Educational exchanges are also another important aspect of cooperation between China and New Zealand. Addressing the China-New Zealand Education Development Forum in Auckland on Friday, Li said that the new wave of technological revolution is profoundly changing humanity in terms of production and lifestyles, placing higher demands on education for reform and innovation.

He called for closer China-New Zealand educational cooperation.

Li announced that over the next five years, China will provide New Zealand with 100 opportunities for international Chinese-language teacher scholarships, 1,000 places at "Chinese Bridge" summer camps in the country and 5,000 Chinese books.

New Zealand Prime Minister Christopher Luxon said at the forum that long-term educational cooperation between New Zealand and China is a key focus of bilateral cooperation, promoting mutual understanding and benefiting the people of both countries.

New Zealand will continue to support the deepening of educational cooperation between the two nations, he said.

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