On September 23, the 30th session of the China-New Zealand Joint Economic and Trade Committee was held virtually. Vice Minister of Commerce and Deputy China International Trade Representative Wang Shouwen co-chaired the session with Mark Sinclair, Acting Deputy Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade of New Zealand. Wu Xi, Chinese Ambassador to New Zealand, and Clare Fearnley, New Zealand Ambassador to China, attended the session.
Wang Shouwen said, when President Xi Jinping met with visiting New Zealand Prime Minister Ardern last year, President Xi said China stood ready to work with New Zealand to maintain bilateral ties as a frontrunner in relations between China and Western countries. The fact that the two sides hold the 30th session at this special time reflects the great importance the two governments attach to bilateral trade and economic ties, demonstrates both sides’ aspirations for expanding mutually beneficial commercial cooperation, and sends a positive signal of weathering difficulties together through unity and cooperation. China and New Zealand are highly complementary economically and have tremendous potential for bilateral commercial cooperation. At present, China is moving faster to foster a new development paradigm with domestic circulation as the mainstay and domestic and international circulations reinforcing each other, and pushing forward a new round of high-level opening-up, while New Zealand is transforming its economy. This will presents bilateral trade and economic cooperation with new opportunities for development. China stands ready to work with New Zealand to continuously explore new modes of cooperation, facilitate the sound and steady development of bilateral trade and economic ties, inject new impetus into the economic recovery in both countries and around the world, and bring more tangible benefits to people in both countries.
Mark Sinclair said the relationship with China was one of New Zealand’s most important bilateral relationships. Trade and economic cooperation is the cornerstone of the bilateral relationship. New Zealand attaches great importance to the development of trade and economic ties with China and is committed to expanding practical cooperation in various fields. New Zealand appreciates China’s support in the fight against COVID-19 and is willing to further enhance cooperation with China in COVID-19 response, including on vaccines. New Zealand stands ready to make full use of the joint economic and trade committee to plan for cooperation in the next stage, to tap the potential for cooperation, to cultivate new growth points in trade in services and bilateral cooperation in the digital economy, to promote economic recovery in the two countries and the region, and to push the practical cooperation between the two sides onto a higher level. New Zealand supports the multilateral trading system with the WTO at its core and the reform of WTO, and stands ready to work with all economies, including China, to uphold multilateralism and free trade and to leverage the role of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC).
The two sides agreed to stay in close touch regarding the each other’s economic situation and policies, to deepen cooperation under the Belt and Road Initiative, to upgrade the free trade agreement, to maintain open trade and smooth supply chains, to create an enabling investment climate, and to expand cooperation in agriculture and other sectors. China supports New Zealand in hosting APEC meetings in 2021. The two sides will continue to strengthen communication and coordination in multilateral and regional affairs.