Friday, 3 April 2009
Press Release: International Sustainable Cities Forum
The International Sustainable Cities Forum held on 30 March brought together government and business leaders from both China and New Zealand. Forum spokesperson Kenneth Leong says: “We had a capacity crowd. It was great to see a good mix of New Zealand and Chinese businesspeople, all enthusiastically discussing business opportunities.”
Wang Shi, Chairman of Vanke, the largest property developer in China, talked about his personal experience with global warming as a mountaineer. He also discussed the significant impact of construction activities on the environment and the need for new ways of doing things in order for a more sustainable future.
Mr. Wang is widely regarded as the Godfather of Chinese real estate. A fan of Sir Edmund Hillary, Wang has also completed the Adventure Grand Slam known as the 7+2, reaching the seven highest peaks across seven continents, and the 2 poles, becoming the oldest person in the world to do so.
Mr. Wang believes that there are good prospects for more partnerships between Chinese and New Zealand firms. A number of Chinese businesspeople present also echoed his sentiments, expressing interest in a number of products and services New Zealand has to offer.
Local participants comprising of property developers, investors, exporters, architects and building materials suppliers were also excited about opportunities for cooperation. Mark Taylor, Chairman of FRAMECAD, a niche manufacturer of steel building solutions, commended the organisers. “It was an unprecedented opportunity to forge close bonds with key influencers within the Chinese building industry and regional government. “
Another participant, Mr David McConnell, Managing Director of McConnell Group says: “The McConnell Property team has thoroughly enjoyed being part of the International Sustainable Cities Forum. It has been a wonderful opportunity to meet a large number of Chinese decision makers and build relationships with China, a key trading partner. We gained a greater understanding of China’s approach to sustainability across property development and share Mr Wang’s commitment to this approach.”
The Forum organisers, New Zealand Chinese Herald and Euroasia, accompanied the Chinese delegates on various site visits to explore New Zealand’s approach to building sustainable cities. Mr. McConnell adds: “We were very proud to be chosen to showcase McConnell Property’s pathway towards sustainable property development in New Zealand. And some of the delegates who visited our Addison development in Auckland’s Takanini seemed genuinely interested in the concept of an Addison-type community in their hometowns.”
Before departing, Mr. Wang said: “I would like to return to New Zealand in December to climb Mt Cook.” Local businesspeople would be enthusiastically awaiting his arrival.
Check out the International Sustainable Cities Forum website.