China Business Summit: 2019

Sustaining the Momentum

The China Business Summit was jointly presented by NZ INC. and Auckland Business Chamber. The Summit was held on Monday May 6, 2019 at The CORDIS Hotel, Auckland.

The Prime Minister, Rt Hon. Jacinda Ardern – who recently made her first official visit to China – gave the opening keynote address at the Summit.

The 2019 Summit included

  • The “View from the Top” from leading New Zealand chief executives on how they are addressing new realities for their companies in the China environment.
  • Hon David Parker with a “report back” from his first trade mission to China and address the role the Government is playing to ensure a stronger platform for bilateral business through the free trade deal upgrade.
  • Changes in the Chinese and New Zealand political landscapes: How they affect business, trade and investment with China.
  • Critical issues like the Huawei decision: Huawei will present on how the GCSB decision has affected them as we look at how New Zealand should best navigate its way through choppy waters?
  • Cross border investment and trade: Case studies from Chinese and NZ pathfinders.
  • The tourism industry on how it is deploying cutting edge technology to attract more Chinese travellers.
  • New Zealand and Chinese innovators share their stories.


  • 7.25AM

Call to Order: MC Tim McCready, Director of Innovation, NZ INC.

Opening Session

Introduction: Summit Co-chair: Fran O’Sullivan, Managing Director, NZ INC.


  • 7.30AM

Keynote Address: RT HON JACINDA ARDERN Prime Minister of New ZealandPrime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s first official visit to China saw her meet with President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing. The Prime Minister’s discussions in Beijing have been widely read as ‘establishing a tone’ for bilateral relations between New Zealand and China at time of growing international complexity and great power rivalry.

The one-day visit – following the recent mosque attacks in Christchurch – was a clear signal of the Coalition Government’s commitment to a strong relationship with New Zealand’s major trading partner and presented new opportunities for collaboration.

  • Q&A: Fran O’Sullivan


  • 8.15AM

Keynote Address: HON DAVID PARKER, Minister of Trade and Export GrowthMinister David Parker will ‘report back’ to business from his mission to China where he is leading a delegation to Guangzhou and Beijing. There are key issues on Mr Parker’s agenda: He will share his thinking on the negotiations on the upgrade of the 2008 free trade agreement between China and New Zealand which were stepped up after the Prime Minister’s visit; the proposed introduction of a national interest test for foreign investment and New Zealand’s developing response to China’s signature Belt and Road Initiative following his attendance at the second Belt and Road Forum.


  • 9.00AM

MADAM WU XI: Chinese Ambassador to New ZealandAmbassador WU Xi, an influential player in the bilateral relationship, will share insights from the  Prime Minister’s recent official visit to Beijing and chart opportunities for future collaboration between China and New Zealand.


  • 9.10AM

View from the Top – New Zealand Business Leaders talk China.China’s rapid growth and dynamic business environment is not for the faint-hearted. Yet it presents compelling opportunities for businesses. How do business leaders view the Chinese commercial landscape? What strategies are they using to gain and grow their companies’ own footholds in a rapidly changing and exceeding competitive market? How is the move to greater environmental sustainability influencing their decisions in the China market? Has the trade war between the US and China had an impact on their own businesses? What are the big new ideas that New Zealand business can advance to foster and support China-related business?

  • Session Chair: Fran O’Sullivan
  • Christopher Luxon: Chief Executive, Air New Zealand and Chair of the Prime Minister’s Business Advisory Council
  • Don Braid: Managing Director, Mainfreight
  • Bruce Cameron:Chair, Zespri


  • 10.15AM

Morning tea & networking


  • 10.45AM

Keynote Address:  ANDREW BOWATER –  Huawei in New Zealand.Huawei has not been far from the headlines since the Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB) notified Spark that using the telco supplier in its upgrade to 5G presented a security risk.

  • Andrew Bowater,who is deputy chief executive of Huawei New Zealand, will scope Huawei’s commercial footprint in New Zealand, its existing 3G and 4G partnerships with Spark and 2Degrees and discuss how Huawei has endeavoured to mitigate the risk that has been identified by the GCSB.


  • 11.20AM

Panel: Navigating Choppy watersGeo-strategic rivalry has resulted in a trade war between China and the United States. Global supply chains are being disrupted and the effectiveness of multi-lateral trade institutions are under question.  National security concerns are also on the agenda and impacting on business choices. How does New Zealand best navigate these choppy waters?

  • Panel Moderator: Fran O’Sullivan
  • Charles Finny:Partner, Saunders Unsworth and former trade negotiator
  • Professor James Laurenceson: Acting Director Australia China Relations Institute
  • Andrew Grant: Senior Partner Auckland, McKinsey & Company


  • 12.00NOON

Session: Finding the key to thriving investment?New Zealand’s largest company is undertaking a strategic review of its investment profile in China amidst major transformative changes in the dairy market driven by e-commerce and consumer choice. This session will provide insights into how NZ companies – like Fonterra – address investment decisions in China; look at how Chinese co-investment in a major New Zealand meat exporting company – Silver Fern Farms – could pave the way for future mutually beneficial investment into New Zealand and look at the potential impact of a proposed national interest test for foreign investment on future investment flows.

  • Session Chair: Paul Goodwin, Managing Director Institutional NZ- ANZ
  • Judith Swales: Chief Operating Officer Global Consumer & Foodservice, Fonterra
  • Cathy Quinn: Senior partner and head of China Practice team, MinterEllisonRuddWatts
  • Rob Hewett, Chair, Silver Fern Farms


  • 1.00PM

Lunch & networking


  • 1.45PM

Luncheon keynote: Mark Tanner, Managing Director, China Skinny


  • 2.15PM

Keynote Address: DUNCAN INNES-KER, Regional Director, Asia and Australia, The Economist intelligence Unit (EIU)Duncan Innes-Ker will present the EIU’s unique insights into the Chinese economy; new trends affecting business and will identify high growth areas in China. This will be complemented by an overview of the political outlook in China; a focus on China and the relationship to New Zealand and impact of protectionism and the US/China trade war.

  • Session chair:Summit Co-chair Michael Barnett, Chief Executive, Auckland Business Chamber


  • 3.15PM

Afternoon tea/networking



Session: Keeping New Zealand on the map.New Zealand companies are now leveraging China’s rapidly developing digital and technological capabilities and massive e-commerce platforms to expand trade in critical areas like tourism. Developments in the NZ film industry are also enhancing the New Zealand brand. Ateed – which pioneered the highly successful Tripartite Summit between Auckland, Guangzhou and Los Angeles – has used this to develop strategies to foster innovation in our major “international city.”

Keeping New Zealand ‘top of mindshare’ is key.

  • Session Chair:Malcolm Johns, Chief Executive, Christchurch International Airport
  • Justin Watson: Chief Aeronautical and Commercial Officer, Christchurch International Airport
  • Pam Ford: General Manager Economic Development, Auckland Tourism and Economic Development Agency (Ateed).
  • Sharon Zollner: Chief Economist, ANZ New Zealand
  • Annabelle Sheehan: Chief Executive, New Zealand Film Commission
  • Pania Tyson-Nathan: Chief Executive, NZ Māori Tourism



Session: Winners and War stories: Lessons from New Zealand SMEs that have successfully built business with China.New Zealand firms give us a taste of what is it like to “jump into the river” and forge successful business with China. What are the strategies panellists have employed? How did they make the right connections and partnerships, protect valuable IP, and overcome obstacles on the route to success?

  • Session Chair: Mike Arand,China Business Development Adviser, New Zealand Trade and Enterprise
  • Louie Li: Managing Director, Ctomi
  • Kevin Parish: Former general manager of Primary Collaboration New Zealand (Shanghai) now Chief Executive of China Connections
  • Karl Ye: Managing Director, GMP Pharmaceuticals
  • Joanne Edwards: Chief Executive, Kiwigarden
  • Richard Wyeth: Chief Executive, Miraka


  • 4.45PM

Future Steps: What have we learned?

  • Session chairsMalcolm Johns and Mike Arand report back.


  • 5.00PM

Summit close & prize draw

  • Summit Co-chairs: Michael Barnettand Fran O’Sullivan


  • 5.15PM

Networking drinks with Mayor of Auckland Phil Goff

  • Mayor Goff will be introduced by Nick Hill,Chief Executive of Auckland Tourism, events and economic development (Ateed).


Check Also

United States decline reinforces the importance of the Chinese trade relationship

New Zealand’s relationship with China will continue to be one of the most important and …