Business / Economy

Chinese agribusinesses to hold 'match-making' event in New Zealand

(Xinhua) Updated: 2016-04-18 14:22

WELLINGTON - Leading Chinese agribusiness representatives will gather in Auckland next month for a new event to promote New Zealand agricultural technology, products and services.

The inaugural China-New Zealand Agribusiness Investment and Trade Conference on May 25 would include "match-making" meetings for New Zealand companies with Chinese counterparts who had matching business needs, the Bank of China's New Zealand subsidiary announced Monday.

The growth potential for New Zealand agricultural industry was immense, while innovators operating in the supply chain and logistics sectors were also substantial, according to the Bank of China (NZ), which is holding the event.

"By hosting 70 Chinese agricultural companies here, we aim to introduce local agribusinesses to people who can potentially help them access the Chinese market and grow their business," Bank of China (NZ) chief executive officer David Lei Wang said in a statement.

Despite China's agricultural output being the largest in the world, it was set to become the largest importer of farm products due to its arable land constraints and housing over 20 percent of the world's population.

China was forecast to import $150 billion worth of chicken, pork and beef by 2020, while water constraints were predicted to significantly impact horticultural production.

China's Ministry of Agriculture was talking up the need for more imported lamb in the next five years in anticipation of domestic demand growth.

"Food safety and health benefits, including growing demand for organic and gourmet produce, are increasingly important factors among China's middle class. New Zealand's reputation for clean, innovative and efficient production provides it a powerful competitive edge in a highly competitive international market," Wang said.

The New Zealand government was aiming to increase exports from 30 percent of GDP to 40 percent by 2025 and agribusinesses would be a critical component in reaching its target.

Prime Minister John Key is currently visiting China to discuss upgrading the existing free trade agreement between the two countries.

The one-day conference would be supported by the New Zealand government's New Zealand Trade and Enterprise agency and the Chinese Chamber of Commerce in New Zealand.

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