Passing of Power to the Next Generation in China Presents an Opportunity for New Zealand Businesses

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Historic sweeping changes at the helm of China's ruling communist party signals the beginning of a new era for the Chinese people and a once in a decade opportunity for New Zealand to consolidate its relationship with the emerging economic powerhouse.

Last week, Mr Xi Jinping was confirmed as the man to lead China after being elected as the General Secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) and the Chinese Military. 

PwC Partner and China sector spokesperson Colum Rice says, "The change in leadership happens only once every ten years, so the world is witnessing an historic moment. And just how Mr Xi and his new team cope with the enormous responsibility of leading China for the next decade will be pivotal, not only for the Chinese people but New Zealand's economic future also."

Mr Xi's father and predecessor, Mr Xi Zhongxun, was one of the first leaders to execute the ‘Open China Policy' which saw China surge ahead and become the world's second largest economy, overtaking Japan in 2010. 

PwC Partner and Food and Agriculture sector spokesperson Craig Armitage says, "The success by previous leaders of the CPC means the pressure is on the new leaders to keep the economy growing at a similar rate. Yet, that isn't going to be easy with growth already slowing from 10% a year to around 7 percent, which is the lowest rate since the start of the Global Financial Crisis."

In his first speech since being elected, Mr Xi's set out to allay any fears China's economic growth is a thing of the past. He covered three key areas in his speech, all of which Mr Rice and Mr Armitage believe will be positive in advancing trade between New Zealand and China.   

Those included:

  • Improving Chinese People's wellbeing
  • Advancing the ‘Open China Policy' and productivity
  • Eliminating the perception of corruption and bureaucracy within the Communist Party of China

Mr Armitage adds says, "The three areas mentioned by Mr Xi are all relevant to New Zealand. For example, the focus on improving the Chinese People's wellbeing - this means greater demand for quality food and products, both areas where New Zealand's expertise is strong and where there is an opportunity for our country. New Zealand has an important role to play in both food security and food safety in China."  


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