China Business Summit To Challenge Business to Take Up Opportunities in China

Tuesday 11 September 2012, 8:07PM

By Auckland Chamber of Commerce



China offers huge opportunities for New Zealand businesses, but too few are taking the plunge and entering the market, says Auckland Chamber of Commerce chief executive Michael Barnett.

Auckland Chamber of Commerce, in partnership with NZ INC Ltd is holding a China Business Summit as a platform to increase business engagement between New Zealand and China.

“By 2020 China will be the world’s largest economy and while it’s already New Zealand’s second largest trading partner, there is scope for far more benefit for New Zealand business,” Mr Barnett said.

“There has been a lot of talk about business with China and not enough action. The China Business Summit will provide an overview of where things are now, but more importantly will be practical and result in action points and future steps.

“The free trade agreement was signed four years ago and while some businesses have taken advantage of the opportunities, we have barely scraped the surface. And it’s not just the large companies which can benefit from trade with China; there are excellent opportunities for businesses of all sizes.”

Mr Barnett said China has a thirst for resources and New Zealand is in a perfect position to be at the forefront.

Chaired by Mr Barnett and NZ INC Ltd director/business columnist Fran O’Sullivan, the China Business Summit on Wednesday 3 October at The Langham in Auckland will open with an address from Prime Minister John Key who will discuss the Government’s evolving China strategy and future direction.

High-calibre speakers will challenge current thinking by setting a big-picture agenda for business and include Fonterra chief executive Theo Spierings, Solid Energy chief executive Don Elder, NZ Trade and Enterprise Trade Commissioner – Guangzhou Pat English, Mainfreight CEO and Deloitte/Top 200 Executive of the Year (2011) Don Braid, China investment specialist David Mahon and China strategist Alan Carroll.

The summit will include a session with separate streams for “emerging” businesses which are thinking seriously about engaging with the China opportunity; and, companies that are already engaged in the China space. These practical sessions will include case studies of smaller New Zealand companies who are doing business in China.

Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce will address the summit on the practical steps the Government is taking to expand NZ’s business engagement with China and t he summit will discuss the New Zealand brand story and potential threats to the brand.

The China Business Summit takes place at the Langham Hotel on Wednesday 3 October. For more information visit ‘China Summit’ at



Chair: Fran O’Sullivan – director NZ INC Ltd and business columnist

Opening Address: Prime Minister John Key: The Government’s evolving China strategy and future direction

Theo Spierings – Fonterra chief executive: Insights into the dairy co-op’s big expansion plans in China

Don Elder – Solid Energy chief executive: The SOE’s growing commercial relationship with China

Don Braid – Mainfreight CEO and Deloitte/Top 200 Executive of the Year (2011): China’s role in Mainfreight’s bold goal to be New Zealand’s largest company by the time it “turns 50” in 2028

David Mahon – Renowned China investment specialist: New Zealand’s emerging investment platform in China including panel session: ‘After the Crafar debacle – the new norms for Chinese FDI’

Alan Carroll – China strategist: ‘What’s Next in China – The Big Game’. The new Chinese leadership: What's changed, what's the same and what opportunities are there for New Zealand business’

Panel discussion – The NZ brand story: Speakers include Tourism New Zealand chief executive Kevin Bowler, and Auckland International Airport Ltd general manager – aeronautical commercial Glenn Wedlock. Is this really working for New Zealand? Should NZ have umbrella brands for individual sectors? What are the threats to the brand? Are brand projections needed?

Breakout session: Emerging Exporters – Entering the Market’:  Led by New Zealand Trade and Enterprise Trade Commissioner – Guangzhou Pat English

Breakout session: Existing Exporters – Following in our Footsteps: Chaired by Auckland Chamber of Commerce chief executive Michael Barnett with guest speakers including Synlait chief executive John Penno and Rakon chairman Brian Mogridge

Steven Joyce – Economic Development Minister: The practical steps the Government is taking to expand NZ’s business engagement with China

Closing Address: Michael Barnett – chief executive, Auckland Regional Chamber of Commerce will scope action points from the summit and future steps. With KPMG partner Tim White and NZTE Trade Commissioner – Guangzhou Pat English