Tourism will feature as one of the key discussion points at next month’s New Zealand China Mayoral Forum.
New Zealand mayors will be making the most of the opportunity to meet with their Chinese counterparts at the second Forum, to be held in Wellington on 3-4 December.
At the Forum 12 Chinese mayors and vice-mayors from mid and large-sized cities will be joined in Wellington by 33 New Zealand mayors to further strengthen relationships between regions of both countries.
Trade and investment opportunities in tourism, education and primary industries will be central to discussions at this year’s Forum. With China New Zealand’s second largest source of tourists the Forum is an opportunity to further enhance and develop political and trade relations for the future.
Christchurch City Mayor Lianne Dalziel, who attended the inaugural Forum in Xiamen in 2015 and will speak about tourism at this year’s event, says relationship building is critical for successfully leveraging opportunities with China.
“This forum is all about relationship building,” Ms Dalziel says. “Local government has a role to play in building relationships with China that can benefit a range of sectors. For example, the introduction of the direct flight from Guangzhou to Christchurch can be put down to strong relationships which took time to establish and build.
“We as a city have established and wide-ranging relationships with China which are growing all the time. We regard these relationships as extremely important.”
Central Otago Mayor Tim Cadogan will also speak on tourism at the Forum. Mr Cadogan says bringing civic leaders from New Zealand’s largest export market is an incredible opportunity to present New Zealand’s offering to what are very influential individuals and a chance to further build the relationships that will lead to greater trade.
“Central Otago is only starting to realise the potential it has within the Chinese market,” Mr Cadogan says.
“There is so much more that Central Otago, and New Zealand, has to offer the Chinese consumer, including a unique tourism experience enjoying great New Zealand landscapes and experiences as well as our shared history. All of this translates into income for our communities and the people in them.”
LGNZ President Dave Cull says trade with China has tripled since 2007, to $23 billion in the June 2016 year, making the need for continued relationship building increasingly important.
“The Forum is an excellent opportunity for both the country as a whole and the regions to enhance our relationships with New Zealand’s largest trading partner,” Mr Cull says.
“There is much to be gained for our communities in developing a greater understanding and appreciation of how China operates. The Forum provides a new sub-national engagement to further enhance and develop political and trade relations for the future.”
The Forum is supported by platinum sponsor the China Chamber of Commerce in New Zealand and Bank of China, with additional support from sponsors China Travel Services Ltd, Huawei, the University of Otago, Victoria University of Wellington, Silver Fern Express Ltd, the University of Auckland’s Centre for Asia-Pacific Excellence and the New Zealand China Council.
The talks will include mayors, vice mayors and officials from the following Chinese cities: Baoji City, Dunhuang City, Guangzhou City, Heihe City, Hohhot City, Huaibei City, Liaoyang City,
Qingdao City, Qingyuan City, Shenzhen City, Weinan City and Xiamen City.
The talks will include mayors and officials from the following New Zealand towns, cities and districts: Auckland, Ashburton, Central Hawke’s Bay, Central Otago, Christchurch, Clutha, Dunedin, Gisborne, Gore, Hamilton, Hastings, Hauraki, Hutt City, Invercargill, Kapiti, Kawerau, Manawatu, Marlborough, Matamata-Piako, Nelson, Opotiki, Palmerston North, Porirua, Rangitikei, Rotorua, Selwyn, Tararua, Taupo, Tauranga, Timaru, Upper Hutt, Wellington and Whanganui.