New Zealand and China has shared a great economic relationship especially since the signing of the 2008 bilateral Free Trade Agreement. This year, at the 2010 Shanghai World Expo, New Zealand Government has invested $32 million for the construction of the New Zealand Pavilion themed City of Nature: Living Between Land and Sky
. The pavilion's theme was inspired by the Maori creation story of Tane (the forest God), who separated his parents Rangi and Papa (Sky Father and Earth Mother). Numbers of visitors reaching 40,000 are expected each day at the pavilion, with the 1800kg pounamu boulder at the pavilion entrance and the realistic looking 12-metre-high steel and rubber pohutukawa tree as the main crowd puller. New Zealand's pavilion was innovative and high quality, and gave New Zealand businesses a great platform to form relationships with key contacts in the Chinese market.
Building on the steady relationship between New Zealand and China, Biolife NZ saw this as a fantastic opportunity to further promote our commercial development in China. By participating at the Expo and hosting VIP functions within the New Zealand pavilion, Biolife NZ was able to strengthen key trading relationships with our Chinese distribution channels and our customers directly. This is much in line with the recent announcements by Prime Minister John Key who has proposed new new agreements with China (on top of the Free Trade Agreement) that would strengthen cooperation between the two countries. New Zealand's growing trade with China saw our exports rise from $1.9 billion in 2008 to $3.3b in 2009 – this is just one reason Kiwis should sit up and take notice of the event. China had gone from the fourth largest trading partner of New Zealand to the second largest trading partner in just two short years.
On the 1st and 2nd July Biolife NZ invited many of our stakeholders to join us at the New Zealand Pavilion. On the first day, Biolife NZ released our newest range of Natrapure Jin Mian colostrum products right for all to see at the Expo. Biolife's nutritional expert was on site to interact and answer any queries from obstetricians (deputy director of Chingqing University of Medical Sciences, obstetrics department), director of Institute of Eugenics, Dieticians (from the Shanghai Eastern China Hospital) on the nutritional benefits of this new range. On the 2nd of July, Biolife NZ and Healtheries jointly hosted VIP functions in the New Zealand pavilion to promote and lift our presence in our primary export market. This provided an important common ground for all Healtheries/Pei zhi customers and distributors to meet both companies management team.
Tim Green, NZTE China Director Technical info on new Jin Mian range Questions from the guests
The 9th of July marks New Zealand Day at the Shanghai Expo, Prime Minister John Key will take part in formal ceremonies involving senior Chinese and Expo officials and visit the New Zealand, China, Korea and Viet Nam Pavilions. “The spot light will be on New Zealand and this is a great opportunity to promote our nation in China. Already the New Zealand Pavilion has been making a big impact,” says Mr Key. With recent cases which found dairy products in at least two provinces tainted with melamine that killed six babies and sickened thousands in 2008, the discovery suggests toxic milk remains a lingering danger in China. Key, who is in China, said he was concerned about the announcement and any links to New Zealand. "Obviously, I'd be concerned about the health of those children that might consume that milk powder because as we know it's highly dangerous."He did not want to second guess where responsibility for the latest cases lay but said the government would go away and ask some questions.
With cases such as this still causing fear in consumers, Biolife's production of dairy products exported to China will follow strict regulations set by New Zealand as well as tightened standards set by the Chinese officials. Our obligation is to our many customers across China, and we can perhaps ease the tension between the Chinese and the New Zealand dairy export industry by continuing the production of safe, high quality dairy products.
Prime Minister John Key Signing of the FTA, 2008 Crowds waiting to see the NZ pavilion