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Mayor Meng Foon was honoured to meet president Xi Jinping and Madame Peng

Commentary

Mayor Meng Foon was honoured to meet president Xi Jinping and Madame Peng.

By Meng Foon, Mayor of Gisborne.

We had a great meeting with the mayor of China from the major cities and this meeting was endorsed by the NZ PM John Keys and President Xi of China.

This gave Local Government NZ great mana to continue with closer relationship through facilitation of business for us in NZ and China.

The 2 countries have set an ambitious target of $30b worth of trade by 2020 as we are today it is already $20b in 2014.

Only 6 years ago trade between NZ and China was $700m.

We have come a long way and it is thanks to the good relationship our governments have with China.

In Gisborne we are seeing investment from Chinese firms, investing in Gisborne and the East Coast.

We have seen an export honey house set up by a Chinese Business person at Matawhero and he is collecting manuka honey from growers and exporting to China.

Ernslaw one is exporting logs to China to our sister city in Rizhao.

Metrogreen has invested in a juice and bottling plant here in Gisborne and production is not far away.

We have Nobilo wines and Wrights organic wines selling into China.

Our beef and lamb are in the selves of the supermarkets like Sam’s Club in Beijing and Guangzhou.

Our early golden and green Kiwifruit are in the high end supermarket shelves in Shanghai, Beijing, Guangzhou.

Ngati Porou Crayfish is being sold in Hong Kong and China.

Lemons and apples are being bought by Chinese distributors and are exported to various cities in China.

More relationships are being negotiated at this time and this will hopefully bring more fruits in investment and trade between the 2 countries.

We have iwi who are keen to explore opportunities as well of trade and investment.

What we really need is more wood processing, we have 2.2m tonnes of logs going over our Eastland Port at this moment and it would be good to get some wood processing business here in Gisborne, we have land ready for investment, the land is zone industrial and has all the infrastructure like water, stormwater, sewer main, gas, electricity, telecommunications all ready.

We have land for people to buy or go into partnership with and develop the land for persimmons, kiwifruit, citrus, manuka honey etc.

All look positive for Gisborne East Coast going into the future, my door is always open and my contact is mayor@gdc.govt.nz