Chinese Ambassador to New Zealand Wang Xiaolong said in his remarks for the Fifth CIIE Road Show that China has done its best to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on economic and social development. China is the only major economy to report economic growth for 2020, and its economy grew 8.1 percent in 2021.
“The Chinese economy’s great potential, resilience, and vitality remain unchanged,” Wang said, adding that the latest round of COVID-19 outbreak has been brought under effective control in Shanghai and Beijing.
In the opening speech of the promotion event, New Zealand’s ambassador to China Clare Fearnley said via video that New Zealand businesses have had “an active and strong presence at each and every CIIE.”
Last year, despite the pandemic, more than 50 New Zealand businesses participated in the event, primarily in the food and agriculture sectors, as well as in the medical equipment and healthcare categories, Fearnley said, adding that businesses found the value in CIIE participation in the promotion of their commercial interests in the Chinese market, as well as in the opportunity to strengthen their relationships with local Chinese partners.
She said she hopes to be in Shanghai in person again at this year’s edition of the CIIE, which was scheduled from November 5 to 10, to see a wide range of New Zealand businesses participating in the expo.
Over the past four years, more than 200 New Zealand companies participated in the annual event. Fonterra, a major dairy producer, and Zespri, the world’s largest marketer of kiwifruit, have expressed interest to attend the fifth edition to be held in Shanghai.
Alistair Crozier, executive director of the New Zealand China Council, said this year’s CIIE is going to take place in “unique and challenging circumstances” as the world is still struggling to manage the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.
However, this just increases the value of the opportunity that the CIIE provides for New Zealand companies to remain connected to its largest market, Crozier told the road show.
“China never stands still, even in a pandemic,” he said.
The Fifth CIIE Road Show, co-hosted by the China International Import Expo Bureau and the China Chamber of Commerce in New Zealand, was attended by some 300 delegates from the business sector and officials of the two countries. ■