In April 2024, Chinese visitors accounted for 10 percent of the 225,000 overseas visitors who arrived in New Zealand, ranking second behind Australian tourists, according to the country’s statistics department, Stats NZ.
China seeks win-win cooperation with New Zealand, Australia

In April 2024, Chinese visitors accounted for 10 percent of the 225,000 overseas visitors who arrived in New Zealand, ranking second behind Australian tourists, according to the country’s statistics department, Stats NZ.

China and New Zealand are poised for an upsurge in tourism exchanges, with evolving travel preferences and increased collaborations indicating a promising future for the tourism industries of both countries.

During a meeting with New Zealand Prime Minister Christopher Luxon on Thursday, visiting Chinese Premier Li Qiang said China will include New Zealand in the list of countries eligible for unilateral visa exemptions and hopes that New Zealand will provide more conveniences for Chinese citizens visiting New Zealand.

Li is on an official visit to New Zealand, the first leg of his three-nation tour from June 13 to 20, which will also take him to Australia and Malaysia.

A signing ceremony for a letter of intent between New Zealand's dairy giant Fonterra and China International Exhibition Center (CIEC) during the Fifth New Zealand-China Business Assembly Forum and the New Zealand Roadshow for the China International Supply Chain Expo in Auckland, New Zealand, April 19, 2024. /Xinhua

A signing ceremony for a letter of intent between New Zealand’s dairy giant Fonterra and China International Exhibition Center (CIEC) during the Fifth New Zealand-China Business Assembly Forum and the New Zealand Roadshow for the China International Supply Chain Expo in Auckland, New Zealand, April 19, 2024. 

Fruitful China-New Zealand cooperation

While meeting with New Zealand’s Governor-General Cindy Kiro, Li hailed the great progress facilitated in bilateral relations and the multiple “firsts” achieved in cooperation between the two countries.

This visit, coinciding with the 10th anniversary of the comprehensive strategic partnership between China and New Zealand, is a trip of friendship and cooperation, Li added.

New Zealand has been a trailblazer in international trade with China, being the first developed country to recognize China’s market economy status, initiate free trade negotiations, and sign a Belt and Road cooperation agreement.

As a result of their cooperation featuring win-win results, China has become New Zealand’s largest trading partner and export destination and the largest single buyer of New Zealand’s dairy products, meat, timber and fruit.

China signed a free trade agreement (FTA) with New Zealand in April 2008, and it went into force in October that same year. It was China’s first comprehensive bilateral FTA covering trade in goods, services and investment.

In 2021, the two countries signed a protocol on upgrading their FTA, further cutting tariffs and non-tariff barriers, enhancing cooperation in rule-making and boosting trade in services between the two countries.

As part of the China-New Zealand FTA, with the special safeguard measures on milk powder removed as of January 1, 2024, all New Zealand dairy products can now enter China duty-free and quota-free.

“The development of China and New Zealand is an opportunity rather than a challenge to each other,” Li pointed out during his talks with Luxon, urging the two countries to continue to strengthen cooperation, strive to eliminate the interference of non-economic factors in economic and trade relations, and provide a stable business environment for enterprises.

Li said China is willing to expand trade with New Zealand, tap the potential for cooperation in fields such as digital economy, green economy, new energy vehicles and creative industries, and jointly promote regional economic cooperation.

A booth of Australia at the China National Convention Center during the 2022 China International Fair for Trade in Services in Beijing, China, September 4, 2022. /Xinhua

A booth of Australia at the China National Convention Center during the 2022 China International Fair for Trade in Services in Beijing, China, September 4, 2022. 

Huge potential of China-Australia cooperation

Australia marks the second stop of Premier Li’s trip. He will co-chair the ninth China-Australia Annual Leaders’ Meeting with Prime Minister Anthony Albanese and have extensive contact with people from all walks of life in Australia to exchange views on bilateral relations and international and regional issues of common concern.

Economic and trade cooperation is the most active driving force in China-Australia relations. China has been Australia’s largest trading partner, export market and import source for 15 consecutive years since 2009.

In 2023, bilateral trade in goods increased by 4.1 percent year on year, while Australian investment in China increased by 11.7 percent compared to the previous year, and the number of Australian-funded enterprises established in China surged by 40.2 percent.

Many trade disputes between the two countries have been resolved through consultations and negotiations. In April 2024, Australia terminated its anti-dumping measures against Chinese wind towers after the World Trade Organization ruled that Australian duties on Chinese steel products were flawed.

China has also lifted anti-dumping measures on Australian barley and wine, as well as lifted bans on several Australian beef and lamb exporters.

The economic structures of China and Australia are highly complementary, and there is huge potential for economic and trade cooperation, said Chinese Ambassador to Australia Xiao Qian.

In March, the seventh China-Australia Foreign and Strategic Dialogue was held in Canberra, with the sides agreeing to resume and establish dialogues in various fields, increase cooperation between the departments of foreign affairs, economy and trade, science and technology, education and law enforcement of the two countries, and consider launching dialogues on maritime affairs.

China and Australia have broad prospects for cooperation in both traditional and emerging fields, Xiao said, calling on the two sides to expand cooperation in emerging fields such as climate change, electric vehicles, artificial intelligence and the green economy.

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