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Over 150 people from all over the country with gather at Victoria University of Wellington this week to examine how China’s modernising agricultural sector may impact New Zealand exporters, business relations and trade policies.

The two-day conference, The Rise of Chinese Agriculture, has among its guest speakers 17 international speakers representing Chinese and New Zealand government departments, New Zealand practitioners in China and top international scholars from five countries. The conference is organised by the New Zealand Contemporary China Research Centre. 

Victoria University International Relations Senior Lecturer and Research Fellow at the China Centre, Dr Jason Young, says China’s agriculture and food sector is in a period of “profound transformation” as it shifts from small-scale family plots to large industrial and commercial agriculture activities.

“The transformation is driven by the Chinese government’s focus on agricultural modernisation, greater use of science and technology, and improved food regulation and safety, as well as a growing demand from consumers for high quality food products.”

Dr Young, who will present at the conference, says the modernisation of China’s agriculture creates opportunities for New Zealand food exporters but could also generate new competition and regulatory requirements. 

“New Zealand food exporters need to understand what these policy changes may look like so they can be prepared for them, and also be in a good position to make the most of new opportunities.

For example, Chinese agribusinesses are increasingly looking overseas for international partnerships. At the conference, we’ll discuss the potential opportunities, as well as the motivations for Chinese companies seeking investment opportunities in New Zealand or with New Zealand companies in China.”

New Zealand Contemporary China Research Centre chair and conference organiser, Tony Browne says the conference will be “New Zealand’s most comprehensive analysis of China’s food and agricultural policies and market characteristics”.

“We have an incredible line up of speakers, including representatives from China’s Ministry of Agriculture, international policy and strategy advisors, plus leading international experts across agricultural policy, economics, international trade and investment and Chinese economic reform. This conference will be very helpful in gaining a better understanding of the challenges and changes ahead.”

Visit the conference webpage  for more information on the conference including the programme, list of speakers and registration details. 

Glenn Baker

Glenn is a professional writer/editor with 50-plus years’ experience across radio, television and magazine publishing.


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