CIIE opportunity for New Zealand businesses to boost presence, partnerships in China: official
The street view outside the venue for the 6th China International Import Expo in east China's Shanghai, October 31, 2023. /Xinhua
The street view outside the venue for the 6th China International Import Expo in east China's Shanghai, October 31, 2023. /Xinhua

The street view outside the venue for the 6th China International Import Expo in east China's Shanghai, October 31, 2023. /Xinhua

"We see the China International Import Expo (CIIE) as a strong opportunity for New Zealand businesses to build their China market presence and profile," a New Zealand trade official has said recently.

"It's a platform to showcase New Zealand's capabilities and celebrate significant partnerships. New Zealand businesses' ongoing investment in the CIIE demonstrates their commitment to the market and their partners in China," said Andrew White, regional director for Greater China of New Zealand Trade and Enterprise (NZTE), a government body that promotes trade and export.

"Even when the event was challenged by pandemic constraints during 2020, we saw a strong New Zealand contingent, and businesses also returned in force in 2021 and 2022," he said.

The sixth edition of the CIIE, which is taking place from November 5 to 10 in Shanghai, has attracted over 3,400 exhibitors and 394,000 professional visitors who have registered, signifying a full recovery to pre-pandemic levels.

New Zealand brands showcased in the country pavilion include high-end food and beverages, as well as various unique consumer goods, White said in an interview with Xinhua. Also, there are other New Zealand exhibitors participating independently in various locations across the CIIE, where they will be promoting their products and services across a diverse range of industries and sectors.

"We've had positive feedback from New Zealand businesses right from the inception of the CIIE. New Zealand businesses have used the event to help establish or grow their presence in China, and they have found it useful to build their brand, introduce new products and offerings or to highlight and celebrate their key relationships in China," said White.

China is New Zealand's largest trading partner and New Zealand's largest goods export and total export market. There are significant ongoing business opportunities in China for the businesses that NZTE serves, said White.

"In December 2022, we celebrated fifty years of diplomatic relations between New Zealand and China, and over that time, our two-way trade has grown hugely," he said, noting that China is an important market for New Zealand and will continue to be so.

"We envisage New Zealand and China maintaining that strong trade relationship. New Zealand's exporters also know they need to stay in constant touch with their customers in China to ensure their products and services continue to provide value and quality," he added.

Consumer research for NZTE's Made with Care campaign in China reveals that middle-class consumers in first-tier Chinese cities highly value New Zealand as a source of premium food and beverages, said White, noting this confidence extends to various New Zealand consumer goods and services that involve business with China.

"We see an opportunity for our businesses to work with Chinese partners to deeply understand niche segments and tailor premium offerings to contemporary lifestyles and trends in China, including sustainable offerings. This is an opportunity for shared value creation between New Zealand businesses and their partners in China," he said.

Similarly, in other non-consumer industries, New Zealand's offerings are complementary to China's expertise and strengths, and New Zealand companies can offer support in niche areas, including agritech, creative industries, transport and logistics and healthcare technology, said White.

New Zealand companies are becoming better prepared and more sophisticated in how they use the CIIE platform to enhance brand awareness, build connections and develop new businesses by leveraging social media, online coverage and on-site experiences.

"We're confident that if New Zealand businesses offer the right value proposition for China and adapt to changing lifestyles and trends, consumers and buyers will continue to see value in what New Zealand does well and what is unique to our country," said White.

This year's CIIE has attracted attendees from 154 countries, regions and international organizations and marks the debut of 11 countries in the Country Exhibition, with 34 countries set to make their first offline appearance.

According to a recent global online poll conducted by CGTN, more than 90 percent of the respondents believe China's hosting of the CIIE over the last six years has fully released a strong signal of its continued high-level opening up to the outside world and believe the CIIE will be an important opportunity for a turbulent world and a global economy with a weak recovery. 

(With input from agencies)

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