Tourism will be one of the key discussion points at next month’s New Zealand China Mayoral Forum.
New Zealand mayors will be making the most of the opportunity to meet with their Chinese counterparts at the second forum, to be held in Wellington on 3-4 December 2017.
At the forum 12 Chinese mayors and vice-mayors from mid and large-sized cities will be joined in Wellington by 33 New Zealand mayors to further strengthen relationships between regions of both countries.
Trade and investment opportunities in tourism, education and primary industries will be central to discussions at this year’s forum. With China New Zealand’s second largest source of tourists the forum is an opportunity to further enhance and develop political and trade relations for the future.
Christchurch City Mayor Lianne Dalziel, who attended the inaugural forum in Xiamen in 2015 and will speak about tourism at this year’s event, says relationship building is critical for successfully leveraging opportunities with China.
“This forum is all about relationship building,” Ms Dalziel says. “Local government has a role to play in building relationships with China that can benefit a range of sectors. For example, the introduction of the direct flight from Guangzhou to Christchurch can be put down to strong relationships which took time to establish and build.
“We as a city have established and wide-ranging relationships with China which are growing all the time. We regard these relationships as extremely important.”
Central Otago Mayor Tim Cadogan, who will also speak on tourism at the forum, says: “Central Otago is only starting to realise the potential it has within the Chinese market. There is so much more that Central Otago, and New Zealand, has to offer the Chinese consumer, including a unique tourism experience enjoying great New Zealand landscapes and experiences as well as our shared history. All of this translates into income for our communities and the people in them.”
Local Government New Zealand President Dave Cull says trade with China has tripled since 2007, to $23 billion in the June 2016 year, making the need for continued relationship building increasingly important. “The forum is an excellent opportunity for both the country as a whole and the regions to enhance our relationships with New Zealand’s largest trading partner.”