AUCKLAND, New Zealand, Sept. 17 (Xinhua) -- A shipping container loaded with products of New Zealand and Pacific Island nation Vanuatu left Port of Tauranga, the largest port in New Zealand, on Saturday for the fifth China International Import Expo (CIIE) 2022 to be held in Shanghai on Nov. 5-10.
More than 200 companies from New Zealand have participated in the previous four editions of the expo in China, which is by far New Zealand's largest trading partner.
Chen Zhiyang, economic and commercial minister-counselor of the Chinese Embassy in New Zealand, said China encourages more New Zealand companies to embrace the business opportunities presented by the CIIE.
"CIIE is a key event in China's opening-up. It is a world-class forum for cooperation and a great opportunity for innovation and exploring market potentials," Chen told Xinhua.
"During the past years, New Zealand companies have been actively participating in the CIIE, which provides a platform for the vast Chinese consumers to appreciate the high-quality New Zealand products such as agricultural products of dairy products, wine, meat products, honey, and health products and high-quality consumer products," he said.
"This year marks the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and New Zealand. We encourage New Zealand companies to fully avail themselves of the CIIE platform to further pragmatic cooperation and enjoy the shared economic development opportunities," Chen added.
The COSCO SHIPPING container, which was heading to China on Saturday, carried a wide range of products from New Zealand and Vanuatu, such as dairy products, honey, juice, and art crafts. The container is expected to arrive at Shanghai Port in early October.
Kang Xiaoyu, managing director of COSCO SHIPPING Lines New Zealand, told Xinhua that her team in New Zealand had been preparing for the shipment for quite a long time.
"We collaborated with local companies so that we worked out individual shipping plans for them to make sure the products from New Zealand and Vanuatu arrive in Shanghai safe and sound and on time," she said.
David Song, managing director and CEO of Yashili New Zealand Dairy, said he was looking forward to the new products that the company would launch at the fifth CIIE, and highlighted the support from COSCO's New Zealand team.
"Under the challenging circumstances where the global supply chain is at constant risk of disruption, it is great that COSCO supports us with high-quality services," said Song.
YTABC, a New Zealand company participating in the CIIE for the first time, said it has been preparing for the exhibition for months ahead to understand relevant policies and customs clearance procedures. The company is looking forward to showcasing its products at the CIIE.
COSCO SHIPPING is the official international shipping service provider for the CIIE. ■