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Cooperation expanding between China, New Zealand

Article as appeared on English, 19 November 2015


China and New Zealand have been advancing regional economic ties over the past few years. CCTV reporter Xia Ruixue reports on what sectors have been benefiting from the increased cooperation.

China has traditionally been a tea-drinking nation, but more and more young people are thirsty for coffee.

This has attracted an increasing number of international coffee brands to the country. Esquires Coffee from New Zealand is one of them.

Its first store opened in Beijing in August 2009 and now it has 24 coffee houses throughout the country. A big selling point for Esquires is that its products are all sourced from New Zealand where its own blend of organic coffee is roasted.

“In 2008, New Zealand was the first country to sign a Free Trade Agreement with China. That’s why we can get organic, free-trade coffee directly from New Zealand. We can now provide a pure New Zealand taste to the Chinese,” said Ellen Zhang, general manager of Esquires Coffee.

Esquires isn’t the only one who has benefited from the rapidly growing relationship between China and New Zealand.

Many travel agencies have also witnessed the change, as China has become New Zealand’s second largest source of overseas tourists.

“When we started our business in New Zealand in 2000, very few Chinese people traveled there. Most of them went for business. But tourism started to boom in 2008. Today Chinese people from all levels can afford to go to New Zealand on vacation. It’s very easy today,” said Nancy Liu, chairwoman of A China Travel.

China is also New Zealand’s largest source of international students. Renowned for its beautiful scenic views, the country’s tertiary education is also famous. It has become one of the top four destinations for Chinese students to study.

Education is the major attraction, but the country’s work opportunities and immigration policies are another driving forces luring hundreds of thousands of Chinese students to the country.

“The two countries have set several precedents for cooperation, including the signing of the first Free Trade Agreement in 2008. In recent years, a rapidly growing relationship in bilateral trade, education, scientific research, agro-technology, and tourism has already exceeded preset goals,” said Wang Zhenyu, director of China Nat’l Committee for Pacific Economic Coop.

High-level bilateral visits are becoming frequent. This September, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi visited New Zealand and met with his counterpart Murray McCully. Both of them called for strengthening ties aimed at forming a community of common interests.

Last week, New Zealand’s Prime Minister John Key attended this year’s APEC Leaders’ Meeting in Beijing. He also visited Chengdu, the capital of Sichuan province to open a new New Zealand Consulate.

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