China-New Zealand ties increase in business, tourism, education

World Today

Relations between China and New Zealand have grown in the past few years, with increasing ties in business, trade, tourism, and education. CCTV America’s Xia Ruixue reported this story from Beijing.

Cooperation expanding between China and New Zealand

China and New Zealand have been advancing regional economic ties over the past few years. CCTV America’s Xia Ruixue reported this story on what sectors have been benefiting from the increased cooperation between both the nations.

China has traditionally been a tea-drinking nation, but more and more young people are thirsty for coffee and it’s attracted an increasing number of international coffee brands to the country, including Esquires Coffee in New Zealand.

Their first store opened in Beijing in August 2009 and now it has 24 coffee houses throughout the country. A big selling point is its offering of locally-sourced organic coffee blends.

“In 2008, New Zealand was the first country to sign a Free Trade Agreement with China. That’s why we can get organic, free-trade coffee directly from New Zealand. We can now provide a pure New Zealand taste to the Chinese,” said Ellen Zhang, general manager of Esquires Coffee.

Many travel agencies have also witnessed an increase in business, as China has become New Zealand’s second-largest source of overseas tourists.

“When we started our business in New Zealand in 2000, very few Chinese people traveled there. Most of them went for business. But tourism started to boom in 2008. Today Chinese people from all levels can afford to go to New Zealand on vacation. It’s very easy today,” said Nancy Liu, who runs the A China Travel company.

China is also New Zealand’s largest source of international students and has become one of the top four destinations for Chinese students to study. New Zealand’s work opportunities and immigration policies are another driving force for hundreds of thousands of Chinese students.

“The two countries have set several precedents for cooperation, including the signing of the first Free Trade Agreement in 2008. In recent years, a rapidly growing relationship in bilateral trade, education, scientific research, agro-technology, and tourism has already exceeded preset goals,” said Wang Zhenyu, director of China National Committee for Pacific Economic Cooperation.

This September, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi visited New Zealand and met with New Zealand’s Foreign Affairs Minister Murray McCully. Last week, New Zealand’s Prime Minister John Key also attended the APEC Leaders’ meeting in Beijing. He also visited Chengdu, China, the capital of Sichuan province to open a new New Zealand Consulate.