Mayor Celia Wade-Brown with Jason Fox (Port Nicholson Block Settlement Trust) and kaumatua Kura Moeahu at the signing of the Xiamen Declaration.
The Capital’s bid to host the event was confirmed at the conclusion of the inaugural NZ-China Mayoral Forum held in Xiamen, which is a sister city of Wellington’s.
Attending the event, Wellington Mayor Celia Wade-Brown says: “Hosting the New Zealand China Mayoral Forum will be a huge opportunity to showcase the Capital. We will also bring talent and opportunity from around New Zealand and China to Wellington.
“With 13 Chinese mayors joining 12 New Zealand mayors at this year’s event, and given the importance of mayors in Chinese society, there’s been a considerable media contingent reporting on the talks, potentially reaching hundreds of millions of viewers and readers,” says Mayor Wade-Brown.
“The 13 Chinese mayors attending this year’s forum represent nearly 80 million people so with Wellington as host city we can expect a significant amount of exposure to Chinese audiences, including potential investors, students and tourists.
“Our Chinese guests and the delegations they bring to Wellington will enjoy the best the Capital has to offer, as we maximise the opportunity to showcase our hospitality, indigenous arts and culture, education advantages and prospects for investment.”
Economic Development portfolio leader Jo Coughlan says there will also be considerable spin-offs for the local economy.
“Alongside the NZ-China Mayoral Forum, there are many business people and economic development agencies attending,” says Councillor Coughlan. “This takes the relationship to another level and as a result there will be real, tangible results for New Zealand.
“The side-programmes help form stronger relationships between our business people and their Chinese counterparts and include targeted discussions on investment in key economic projects.
“Over the past year alone trade between Wellington and our sister city Xiamen has grown by 22 percent, so hosting the next Forum puts the Capital in a great position to capture more of the two-way trade between China and New Zealand which currently exceeds $18 billion annually,” says Councillor Coughlan.