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China General Interest

With apologies for plagiarising our other title but we thought it timely to bring members upto date with our activites and plans for the future.

China moves forward remorselessly, about to become the World’s second biggest consumer market, leading (with some comfort) GDP growth amongst the nations of power, seemingly the crutch of the Australian economy and now our second export market, overtaking USA, having long ago overtaken Japan.

So it absolutely behoves the oldest and most authentic bilateral business association to keep moving forward too, albeit without the resources or power that the subject of its focus possesses!

We herald our new partnership with Export New Zealand with great enthusiasm. Having long enjoyed cordial but informal relationships with both EMA and its relatively recent alliance partner Export New Zealand, the opportunity to work more closely and more formally with the two hugely influential business partners was too good to miss.

NZCTA remains totally autonomous, financially and structurally. The partnership encompasses no merging of stucture and no loss of identity.

But it gives NZCTA the long awaited chance to work together with the ENZ branches nationally, extend our reach and at the same time, brings us an association with a group of dedicated exporters, probably the crucial sector in terms of the businesses engaging with China.

Moreover, our near neighbour, the ASEAN NZ Combined Business Council, has signed a similar agreement with ENZ. All the parties to the partnership see our move as a much needed move in the direction of NZ Inc., a concept, which everyone seems to promote without doing very much to walk the talk!

So this new alliance joins our other active and successful alliances in China, the MOU with the NZ expats in China (KEA) and our long association with the immensely influential CCPIT (China Council for the Promotion of International Trade).

The Vice Chairman of CCPIT Beijing, Dr Zhang Wei and a senior delegation, visited us in mid May, an opportunity for us to introduce our new partners and jointly to endorse the nature of our relationship. We have a firm invitation to reciprocate the visit and we’ll be planning a Mission encompassing Beijing in the not too distant future.

Meantime plans for our September Mission to Shanghai Expo and Wuhan are coming together nicely, to the extent that applications close on 28 May.

Why Wuhan to accompany the obvious desire to take in Expo? Well, we wanted to offer contrast. Those, who already know Shanghai and Wuhan will understand what that means.

Shanghai is a world class city by any measure and few doing business in China omit it from their activities.

Wuhan is also an important centre for NZ businesses - in the heartland, not the seaboard and of cultural and historic significance as well as industrial.

It is also the start of the ultra modern rail service to Guangzhou – 900 km in 3 hours. Not as fast as flying, but hotel to hotel it certainly is and being at ground level, it’s a chance to have a look at rural China too, as we flash by at 350 kph, sipping a quiet beer or cup of ooloong tea.

Hurry to register if this sounds like a trip not to miss!

We have held events in Auckland, Christchurch and Invercargill and plan several others this year in Auckland and also in Wellington, Hawkes Bay, Nelson and other centres. Look out for details on the website and in the members’ electronic bulletin NZCTA Now.

Our event in Invercargill in late April was a massive success with over 100 guests hearing keynote speaker, Bob Major’s presentation on Strategies in China. Our thanks to Bob, whom we’ll try to persuade to join us elsewhere this year and to support speakers, ex Ambassador Tony Browne and HSBC’s Gavin Haworth. And to the Southland Chamber, who made excellent arrangements.

In November, we have one of our signature events, the AGM and lunch – diarise Wednesday 10 November and try to organise a relatively quiet afternoon thereafter. Then on 3 December, we are planning an event in Auckland with partners NZ Contemporary China Research Centre and NZCTA member, AUT.

Then 2011 is Trade Award Year. Those of you who attended the 2009 Awards would have been impressed by the high standard set by the winners of the respective categories and by the scintillating occasion.

Well, for May 2011, we are just starting to plan the next Awards dinner – bigger and better than ever, befitting NZCTA’s 30th anniversary.

In terms of Chinese dynasties, 30 years is a blink of the eye, but in terms of bilateral business councils, it is a phase in the life cycle, where the energy of youth is joined by the maturity of experience.

What we offer members and other stakeholders is a huge accumulation of experience in doing business with China in many facets, a benefit of membership, which is unmatched in the New Zealand international trade sector and which we happily offer to NZ Inc.