Minister of Trade; Associate Minister of Foreign Affairs
Summary of presentation
Trade Minister Tim Groser began his speech with a focus on the climate of trust that has developed such importance in the relationship between New Zealand and China. Such trust and human relationships will be crucial, he opined, in recovering from the then-recent dairy product scandal.Rather than spend a great deal of time examining the ever-burgeoning value of the bilateral trade, Minister Groser proceeded to sketch an image of the path forward as we look to achieve the $20bn two-way trade target set out by leaders.In response to the present recovery, the government was “ready to make changes”, but would be careful not to act before the full set of inquiries and findings are presented.
Nevertheless, Minister Groser was adamant that we should not relinquish the fact that we have a “food safety system and quality of foodstuffs that is the envy of the world.”Looking further forward, the TPP is a crucial gateway to further trade and investment that could not be allowed to swing shut in Groser’s opinion. While China did not presently appear to be at all likely to enter the partnership, the “TPP is intended to be a building block for a comperehensive trade and investment integration in the whole of the Asia-Pacific… To stay outside the TPP would be a misake of historical magnitude for this country.”Further to that opportunity, Minister Groser praised the work done by the previous Labour government in securing the existing Free Trade Agreement with China. This, he said, has allowed the present government to continue in the same vein, developing agreements with Hong Kong and Chinese Taipei to further benefit New Zealand exporters. Finally, Minister Groser drew some general lessons from the recent dairy struggles and passed on a series of business lessons for companies looking to flourish in the Chinese market.
More generally, it was clear from this address that the Trade Minister is optimistic about the benefits of globalisation and will demonstrate the same to the New Zealand public: “Globalisation or hyperglobalisation, it is not a disease that you catch; it is a choice that you make.”
China Business Summit Links