Sharples to lead business delegation to China   30 May 2012

Successful businesses representing New Zealand’s $37-billion-plus Maori economy will join a trade delegation, led by Maori Affairs Minister Dr Pita Sharples, that leaves for China and Hong Kong this weekend.

“Asia’s Dragon economies are fast becoming the centre of gravity of the global economy, with China at the helm. Representatives from our Maori ‘Taniwha economy’ are heading to China to strengthen existing cultural and economic relationships,” said Dr Sharples.

The delegates are from a wide range of sectors including fishing, forestry, agribusiness, education, food and beverage, investment and banking. Delegation members manage assets worth $2 billion-plus and head businesses from across New Zealand.

“Some of our largest Maori-owned farms, iconic tourism ventures and other innovative businesses are joining us - at no small expense to themselves,” said Dr Sharples. “Our delegation will meet government and commercial leaders in Beijing, Guizhou, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Jiangmen and Hong Kong.

“We have chosen to take this step to boost revenue and exports to support businesses, communities and families across our country. At this month’s FOMA Science and Innovation symposium, BERL’s Chief Economist Ganesh Nana told Maori asset holders that we must ‘export or die’: we choose export.”

“Some members are set to formalise commercial relationships and sign agreements with a range of Chinese companies,” said Dr Sharples.

The delegation is part of an ongoing strategy, supported by Te Puni Kokiri and aligned with New Zealand Inc, to strengthen trade relationships with China. Dr Sharples says the phenomenal growth of the Asian and Chinese economies is something the Maori economy can relate and aspire to.

(New Zealand Government)

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