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Chinese economy gallops in the Year of the Horse

The Chinese recently marked their New Year as the ‘Year of the Horse,’ characterised by grace, hard work and dedication.

PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) New Zealand is calling for New Zealand and Chinese businesses to harness these qualities, enhance business relationships and develop stronger engagement between the two countries.

Matured relations

Relationships between New Zealand and China have matured over the past few years and we wish to see the level of trade and investment gallop with the Year of the Horse.

We can expect the Government to work even harder on its relationships with China, and I am sure that we will see more engagements between the two countries. The Governmental foundation gives a base for companies to work as we continue to try to make the most of the opportunities that New Zealand has with China.

As per our Annual Global CEO Survey, New Zealand and Chinese Chief Executives are more confident about the future. We have seen over the last six months how more New Zealand businesses (small, medium or large) have started to think differently about China.

This is very encouraging. We have also noted a different level of maturity in our relationships with our No 1 trading partner, as businesses realise that as a business driver, China is here to stay.

New Zealand businesses are thinking bigger and thinking longer term and investing more to turn opportunities into action.

Growth focus

Chinese businesses have also shown their focus on growth under the country’s ‘Go Global’ strategy and as such, have been more interested in New Zealand to understand better technology, knowhow, brands and products. Chinese companies are looking to work with New Zealand businesses to bring back products and services relevant to the Chinese domestic consumer market.

Chinese companies look for long-term business partnership and cooperation, but we need to remind ourselves that New Zealand is constantly in competition with other countries to capture the opportunities in China.

We must demonstrate how New Zealand is well suited to partner with China. We are encouraged by the progress made since the Free Trade Agreement in 2008 and since the launch of the New Zealand China Strategy in February 2012.

The Year of the Horse is the year in which focus and perseverance, we can make a difference and cement our business engagement with China.

Colum Rice is a Partner and China Sector Lead at PricewaterhouseCoopers New Zealand.

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