SHENZHEN: The New Zealand Trade and Enterprise (NZTE), the island country's national economic development agency, opened its fourth office in China Wednesday in the southern boom town. It aims to provide greater access for New Zealand businesses in southern China.
"The opening of the new office in Shenzhen further demonstrates New Zealand's commitment to a closer and more collaborative relationship with China and to help more New Zealand companies to capitalize on business opportunities in this market," said Tim Groser, the visiting trade minister of New Zealand.
He noted that there is significant business potential in this fast-growing city and the country is eager to expand its already strong trade profile into areas of increasing development such as high-tech innovation.
"Given our distance from major export markets, New Zealand has a tradition of ingenuity in the industry of information and communication technologies (ICT)," said Groser.
His country will be committed to helping further develop Shenzhen, which has already been the home city to top Chinese telecommunications companies like Huawei and ZTE, into a mini hub for innovation and technology, he added.
The governments of New Zealand and China signed an ICT cooperation arrangement last year to promote development. As China continues its strong economic growth momentum, this agreement is expected to accelerate the transfer of technology and deliver mutual benefits to the two countries.
China has been New Zealand's second-largest bilateral trading partner, with total trade exceeding NZD 10 billion in 2009.
China-New Zealand: The Firsts
In 1997, New Zealand became the first developed country to agree to China's accession to the WTO by concluding the bilateral negotiations component of that process.
New Zealand was the first developed country to recognize China as a market economy.
In November 2004, President Hu Jintao and then-New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark launched free trade agreement negotiations between China and New Zealand.
In April 2008, New Zealand became the first developed country to successfully conclude free trade agreement negotiations with China
China—New Zealand: The Top 4
China is the third-largest source of international students in New Zealand after Korea and Japan.
China is New Zealand's second-largest export market after Australia, with exports totaling NZD3.76 billion in the year ended February 2010.
China is New Zealand's second-largest source of imports, representing about 15.1 percent of New Zealand's total imports.
China is New Zealand's fifth-largest source of tourists after Australia, UK, USA and the Pacific Islands.