Prime Minister John Key met with Chinese business people at a networking event in Beijing recently alongside Alibaba billionaire Jack Ma. Key is leading a delegate trade mission which includes 40 people. It is focused on upgrading their ties to New Zealand and its free trade agreement with China.
China and New Zealand signed a memorandum of understanding which will allow New Zealand small businesses more access to sell their products on Alibaba. Ma is hoping to introduce products from New Zealand to China. As he said, while talking to the media after the signing,
“I think your total population is 4.5 million, and we’ve got 1.4 billion people. So the market is huge … and I think our cities are already demanding a quantity that will scare you guys. So this is something that we would love to do; not only buy from New Zealand, we should learn from New Zealand how to protect the environment and then continue to do that.”
During the course of the six day trip that Key was on, he saw the signing of three agreements just on the first day. These included the Alibaba announcement and “an extension to communications provider Huawaei’s sponsorship of the Wellington Phoenix and an agreement for production company Natural History New Zealand to produce documentaries and children’s programmes for China Central Television.”