Meat & Livestock News

Positive Outlook on China’s Economy

TL;DR: Trade Minister Todd McClay is optimistic about China, highlighting potential growth and benefits from his upcoming trade-focused visit to Beijing and other cities.

Trade Minister Optimistic About China

Trade and Agriculture Minister Todd McClay rejects negative views on China. He believes his upcoming trip to Beijing will benefit New Zealand traders.

Economic Concerns Overstated

Despite widespread concerns about China’s economic troubles, particularly in its debt-heavy property and government sectors, McClay sees potential. “There’s a slowdown, but they still project 4.5% growth this year and next,” he stated. For many, this growth rate remains enviable.

China’s Role in NZ’s Trade

China is crucial for New Zealand, accounting for 22% of its exports in 2023. “Expanding our trade will boost our economy,” McClay remarked. He emphasised the broader economic benefits such as improved incomes and reduced living costs.

Evolving Free Trade Agreement

The NZ-China Free Trade Agreement, effective since 2008, has seen New Zealand’s exports to China quadruple. Updated in 2022, it now includes modern trade elements like e-commerce and government procurement.

Further Efforts Needed

Despite progress, McClay noted that more work is necessary to deepen economic ties. “An FTA is just a framework. Real business requires actual sales,” he explained.

Upcoming Meetings and Benefits

McClay will meet key Chinese ministers in Beijing to discuss opportunities, including freeing up trade in services. These meetings aim to implement previously agreed policies. His journey also includes visits to Shanghai and Harbin to engage with sectors like food and beverage and agriculture.

Simultaneously, Prime Minister Christopher Luxon will visit Singapore, Thailand, and the Philippines, focusing on different diplomatic and trade issues.