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New Zealand and China sign a Memo of Arrangement to establish how to work together on ‘Belt and Road’ projects

NZ Prime Minister Bill English welcomes China Premier Li Keqiang at Wellington airport, April 2017  [Source: China Xinhua, via Twitter]

During the visit (March, 2017) of China Premier Li Keqiang to New Zealand, NZ and China signed a Memorandum of Arrangement on Strengthening Co-operation on ‘Belt and Road’ (BAR) initiatives.

“China’s Belt and Road Initiative is an ambitious undertaking which could lead to new opportunities for boosting economic co-operation and trade,” says NZ China Council Executive Director Stephen Jacobi.

The media release, March 27, 2017, by the New Zealand China Council: ” NZ and China to pursue new economic, trade opportunities along the Belt and Road”, states: 

“This new arrangement between China and New Zealand provides a helpful framework for joint work to boost connectivity along the Belt and Road.  It should help identify how New Zealand providers of a range of services as well as goods can participate and how New Zealand can bring its policy expertise to bear in terms of regulatory co-operation, supply chain connectivity and trade facilitation.”
“The Memorandum of Arrangement on Strengthening Co-operation on Belt and Road Initiatives between New Zealand and the People’s Republic of China was signed today in Wellington by Chairman of the National Development and Reform Commission, H E He Lifeng, and Minister for Economic Development, Hon Simon Bridges.  The signing took place in the context of the visit of the Premier of the Peoples’ Republic of China, H E Li Keqiang.

“At a time when many other countries are seeking to engage with China, New Zealand has to be able to demonstrate the value we can bring to the relationship.  The signing of today’s Memorandum is a way of doing just that.

“The NZ China Council looks forward to working with both governments to implement the undertakings in the new arrangement including by attending the BAR Forum in Beijing 14-15 May”.  

Editor’s note:  For more details on the ‘Belt and Road’ Initiative, see our article: The One Belt One Road Initiative – a Chinese development plan which could interest NZ