South Taranaki opening doors to China
Thursday, March 01, 2012
Doing business in China just got a whole lot easier for South Taranaki.
At last night’s Council meeting, it was decided to accept an offer from Harbin, South Taranaki’s Sister City, of a rent free office for three years.
“This is exciting for South Taranaki business and tourism. There is no cost to the ratepayer for having this office and the potential is huge,” he says.
“China is the world’s second largest economy and New Zealand’s second largest trading partner, and we are one of the few countries to have a free trade agreement with China,” says Mr Dunlop. “China presents huge opportunities for our district, and importantly, it’s the Council to Council relationship which is vital to doing business there.
Mayor Dunlop says that a small delegation will travel to Harbin in June to officially open the office. The in-country costs of the delegation are being met by the Harbin government. Local businesses will also be invited to join the delegation.
”On top of the rent-free agreement with Harbin, the Council has entered into a partnership with a South Taranaki business, JCNZ Focus Ltd, which has strong commercial and cultural links to China. JCNZ Focus will fit out and operate the office on behalf of the Council and facilitate the development of business relationships between South Taranaki, Harbin and greater China,” he says.
“Importantly, JCNZ Focus is employing a South Taranaki local, to operate the office so his focus will be on promoting South Taranaki,” he says.
Mayor Dunlop says he knows of several South Taranaki businesses already trading with Harbin. A number of businesses have also expressed interest in travelling to Harbin and using the office to increase trade with China. A film crew from Harbin are also coming to South Taranaki in March to film a documentary on Harbin’s sister cities, which will promote South Taranaki to millions of Chinese viewers.
“Harbin city has a population of approximately 3.4 million and the wider province has almost 10 million people. Even if we can tap into just a tiny percentage of that market the benefits can be significant,” he says.
Mr Dunlop says if anyone is interested in using the office to contact the Council’s economic development manager on 0800 111 323.