New Zealand releases report on Belt and Road opportunities


AUCKLAND: The New Zealand China Council on Tuesday released a report here on the opportunities New Zealand could face under the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative.

The report, intended to be a first step in helping to shape New Zealand’s engagement with the initiative, shows that opportunities exist for New Zealand to engage and enhance existing linkages not only with China, but also with other countries along the Belt and Road routes.

“Choosing not to engage will not only be a missed opportunity but also mean these opportunities are available for other countries to explore and realize the benefits. Other countries will take up these opportunities if New Zealand does not engage, thereby eroding our preferential position in the Chinese market,” the report says.

“New Zealand has a number of comparative advantages that give us the opportunity to offer a meaningful and mutually beneficial proposition to China,” said Don McKinnon, chair of the government-funded New Zealand China Council, which was established in 2012.

The report tries to take “a fresh, innovative and practical approach” to the prospects for cooperation under the initiative, with a focus in particular on opportunities to create greater connectivity between New Zealand, China and other Belt and Road participants, he said.