February 14, 2019
China chill raises export fears
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is urging Māori exporters not to give up on China.
New Zealand's relationship with the Asian superpower could be heading for a rough patch after cabinet at the urging of the GCSB ruled out Spark using technology from Chinese firm Huawei for its 5G network.
Opposition leader Simon Bridges this week claimed the turning back of an Air New Zealand flight to Shanghai because it had not secured landing permission was a sign of a deteriorating relationship, and ministerial visits were also on hold.
Ms Ardern says six ministers visited China last year, she has met with the president and premier, and visitor numbers and exports are up.
"There's no question that in all of our relationships there will from time to time be complexities, I'd even say that about our relationship as close as it is with Australia. But it is still really important that we maintain our independent foreign policy, that we make decisions in our economic interest and in our national security interest and that is certainly what we do," she says.
Meanwhile, Trade Minister David Parker says the latest results from , New Zealand Trade and Enterprise shows with government support trade can be expanded even when international markets are volatile.
The business development agency's annual report to parliament says its customers include nearly half of New Zealand's 12,000 exporters.
It has identified huge potential in the Māori economy and has a portfolio of 195 Māori customers, including 48 in its high focus group of 700 companies.
The Focus 700 grew international revenue by around $3.5 billion, or 9.2 per cent more than a benchmark group of exporters.
Four international regions increased the value of export deals year on year, with East Asia including China returning an additional 23 per cent and the Australia Pacific region up 15 per cent.
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