China Business Summit: 2021

The New China Paradigm

The China Business Summit was jointly presented by NZ INC. and Auckland Business Chamber. The Summit was held on Monday 3 May 2021 at The Cordis Hotel, Auckland.

A year on since the start of the pandemic, the world was facing growing challenges that would require complex strategic questions to be traversed.  A new US Administration, and ongoing trade and investment conflict – including some close to home – together with a changed commercial environment resulting from Covid it created a “New China Paradigm”.

The resilience of the China economy gives reason to be enthusiastic about long-term growth, but as New Zealand looks forward to reopening its borders it is imperative we recognise the playing field with our largest trading partner has changed for key sectors.

The seventh China Business Summit provided a unique business and political perspective on those changes over the previous year, and what this meant for New Zealand, China and the world.

It dove into the challenges and recent trends in the region, unpacking what this meant for New Zealand’s long-term strategy. We heard from business leaders in key sectors including agribusiness, education and tourism, and got insights from those that have been on the ground in China over the past year.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, Trade Minister Damien O’Connor, Ambassador Wu Xi and a strong array of insightful speakers including former Prime Ministers Rt Hon Helen Clark and Rt Hon Sir John Key discussed the vital opportunities, challenges, and changes in the post-crisis world.

The 2021 Summit included

  • Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and new Trade Minister Damien O’Connor addressed the Summit and provided critical insights into New Zealand’s relationship with its major trading partner, China, in the Covid-19 era.
  • View from the Top: Panel featuring high-profile New Zealanders – ANZ chair Sir John Key, WHO Covid-panel co-chair Helen Clark and Air New Zealand CEO Greg Foran – discussed the strategy for New Zealand as we looked toward reopening our borders as the global Covid-vaccine rollout progressed; pressures created by the tensions between the US and China, and, what it would take to get NZ business back onto an external growth platform.
  • Leading business corporates gave keynote addresses on how the past year has been, and provided detail on the challenges they were grappling with in the region and upcoming issues they were preparing for.
  • Business leaders on the ground in China provided insights into the current situation and shared the lessons they have learnt over the past year. They discussed what life had been like for them – and what this means for New Zealand firms in-market.
  • Chinese firms shared their experience doing business with China during the pandemic and the e-commerce strategies they have employed to grow links.
  • A read-out on the consumer and market changes that have occurred in China, and how Chinese companies have successfully evolved with these changes.
  • Detail on the updated FTA agreement between New Zealand and China, including key outcomes, new areas of cooperation and next steps.

Agenda

MIHI WHAKATAU

CALL TO ORDER

  • Tim McCready, MC

WELCOME

  • Summit Co-Chair: Fran O’Sullivan, Managing Director, NZ INC.

7.30AM

KEYNOTE ADDRESS

  • Rt Hon Jacinda Ardern, Prime Minister of New Zealand

Q&A: Fran O’Sullivan

8.15AM

KEYNOTE ADDRESS

  • Hon Damien O’Connor Minister of Trade and Export Growth

Q&A: Michael Barnett

8.45AM

KEYNOTE ADDRESS

  • Ambassador Wu Xi, Chinese Ambassador to New Zealand

Vote of thanks: Michael Barnett

9.00AM
KEYNOTE ADDRESSES & PANEL: VIEW FROM THE TOP: RE-ENGAGING AFTER COVID
  • Rt Hon Sir John Key, Chair ANZ & Former Prime Minister. Sir John has built a unique global business footprint since leaving politics, not only chairing New Zealand’s largest bank but also advising US companies like Comcast on their China business interests as well as Kiwi companies like Zespri. Sir John led annual business missions to China during his time as New Zealand prime minister and met frequently with China’s leadership both in NZ, Beijing and at the prestigious Boao Forum in Hainan.
  • Rt Hon Helen Clark, Patron of the Helen Clark Foundation & Former PM. Helen Clark is a leading global public servant who as co-chair of the World Health Organisation panel is probing the global response to Covid-19. In her eight years as head of the United Nations Development Programme she developed pragmatic relationships with key capitals. As prime minister she announced the negotiation of the ground-breaking free trade agreement with China which was signed on her watch in early 2008.
  • Greg Foran, Chief Executive, Air New Zealand and Former China Head for Walmart. Air NZ turned a corner with the opening of the trans-Tasman bubble with Australian. Its fortunes were strongly affected when international aviation links became paralysed during the Covid-19 crisis but the airline maintained NZ exporters’ links with China. As the global rollout of Covid vaccines continues the restoration of Air NZ’s China business traveller market will come into scope.

Moderator: Fran O’Sullivan, Managing Director, NZ INC.

10.45AM

KEYNOTE ADDRESS
Rodney Jones, Principal Wigram Capital Advisors
China’s “dual circulation” strategy is designed to cut its dependence on overseas markets and technology; a shift reinforced by COVID-19 and a deepening rift with the United States. The warring elephants of global trade have their own dance. But what does this new paradigm mean for New Zealand and NZ businesses?
ModeratorFran O’Sullivan

11.15AM
KEYNOTE ADDRESS
David Wang, Chair, Chinese Chamber of Commerce in New Zealand (CCCNZ)
David Wang is uniquely placed to give a Chinese perspective on the bilateral commercial relationship highlighting the impact of Chinese SOEs in New Zealand as well as the impact of Chinese migrants establishing small businesses contributing to NZ economy. Since the start of the pandemic, the CCCNZ’s membership has increased with 40 new members, including Auckland Unlimited and Massey University.
Moderator: Tim McCready

11:30AM
PANEL: IS VALUE FOCUS KEY TO FUTURE OF NZ’S KEY EXPORT SECTORS WITH CHINA?
The playing field has changed for key New Zealand export sectors like tourism and education which have been decimated since the Covid-19 pandemic began. While agri export sectors, like meat, have seen sustained demand, regulatory challenges remain. This panel looked at what it takes to restore and maintain business for their sectors with China is the future high value or volume against a background where the Chinese economy is poised to take off with the IMF forecasting growth of 8.4 per cent in 2021.
  • Lisa Li, Managing Director, China Travel Service
  • Jamie Tuuta, Chair, Tourism NZ
  • Paul Morgan, Chair, Kono NZ LP
  • Sirma Karapeeva, CEO, Meat Industry Association
  • Professor Guy Littlefair, Pro Vice-Chancellor International, Auckland University of Technology
Moderator: Stuart McKinnon

1.00PM
KEYNOTE ADDRESS: CHINA REDUX: BUSINESS AND THE CONTEST FOR POWER IN THE INDO-PACIFIC
Richard Maude, Executive Director of Policy at Asia Society Australia
Moderator: Simon Draper

1:30PM
PANEL: VIEW FROM ‘ON THE GROUND’ IN CHINA
We heard from New Zealand business leaders based in Shanghai and Singapore with valuable on-the-ground insights to share with an ‘at home’ business audience whose ability to travel frequently to China has been sharply curtailed by Covid. They covered the impact of the pandemic in-market for their firms and for others in the local Kiwi commercial community; the strategies they have deployed to manage risk, hiccups they have overcome including regulatory issues, capped off with a look at growth opportunities.
  • Teh-han Chow, CEO, Greater China, Fonterra
  • Dan Mathieson, Chief Executive, Zespri International
  • Richard Dunsheath, Trade Commissioner, Shanghai
  • Ivan Kinsella, Chair of NZ Roundtable in China
  • Julia Xu, co-founder and Managing Director Oravida
Moderators: Fran O’Sullivan Michael Barnett

2.45PM
COVID-DRIVEN TRENDS CHINA: HOW CHINESE COMPANIES HAVE EVOLVED
Mark Tanner, Managing Director China Skinny
Mark Tanner shared a unique read-out on the consumer and market changes that have occurred in China since the Covid pandemic began and how Chinese companies have successfully evolved. These changes provide lessons for New Zealand brands to similarly adapt in China and other markets.
Moderator: Tim McCready

3.30PM
PANEL: HOW SMES, NEW RETAIL AND NEW ECONOMY ARE DRIVING DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION IN CHINA
E-commerce experts from China joined Chinese business e-commerce executives based in New Zealand to share lessons from the swift-changing Chinese market. Strategies evolved to cope with restricted person-to-person marketing during the pandemic are here to stay.
  • Li Yongjian, Dean of E-commerce Department of China Academy of Social Sciences
  • Kaisi Li, CFO and e-Commerce Division GM to Beijing, Guangxin Technology Co.
  • Brianne West, Founder & CEO of Ethique
  • Maggie Zhou, Managing Director (Australia and New Zealand), Alibaba Group
Moderator: Gavin Yang

4.30PM
BEDDING DOWN THE NEXT CHAPTER: THE FTA UPGRADE AND BEYOND
Barney Riley, Lead Negotiator, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade
In conversation with Auckland Business Chamber CEO Michael Barnett

4.50PM
SUMMIT SUMMARY & PRIZE DRAW
Summit Co-Chairs Michael Barnett and Fran O’Sullivan

Prize draw courtesy of Air New Zealand

5.00PM
TAKING FORWARD THE SUMMIT LESSONS
Mayor Phil Goff
Introduced by: Pam Ford

5:15PM
NETWORKING DRINKS
Courtesy of Auckland Unlimited
6.00PM
SUMMIT ENDS

Event photos

Media Coverage

New Zealand Herald

Newshub

RNZ

One News

Newsroom

Politik

Macau Business

Stuff

China Daily

CCTV

Hong Kong Free Press

The Diplomat

Voice of America News

Xinhua

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