WELLINGTON, Nov. 8 (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 told Xinhua in a recent exclusive interview.
"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 for promoting 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 further said.
The sixth edition of the CIIE, which is taking place from Nov. 5 to Nov. 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.
White said New Zealand brands showcased in the country pavilion include high-end foods and beverages, as well as various unique consumer goods. 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 own expertise and strengths, and New Zealand companies can offer support in niche areas including agritech, creative industries, transport and logistics, as well as healthcare technology, said White.
At the CIIE stage, New Zealand companies are becoming better prepared and more sophisticated in how they use the 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. ■