China is now the world's second largest economy, having overtaken Japan in 2010, and it is estimated China's economic output will match the United States by 2027.
As revealed in PwC's China: Changing New Zealand forever publication, considering New Zealand relies for its wealth creation and standard of living on its exports and trade with the rest of the world, China is an opportunity for growth New Zealand businesses cannot afford to ignore.
PwC Partner and China sector spokesperson Colum Rice says, "As the global economic centre of gravity moves East, China is changing the world, creating new opportunities for New Zealand businesses to tap into the world's fastest growing market.
"China's burgeoning middle class could provide a fast growing platform for New Zealand companies to target. China is more open than ever before to inbound investment and expertise in areas where New Zealand is strong, for example, there is a rising demand for quality food and products from a growing middle class. China has positioned itself as the world's biggest factory and New Zealand could turn itself into a key food provider," adds Mr Rice.
Yet, he warns ,"Companies from around the globe are also targeting China and many of these companies already have significant business interests and investment in China."
While significant work has been done already, with the historic free trade agreement (FTA), signed in 2008 and the recently announced NZ Inc China Strategy, time is of the essence. New Zealand must be prepared to invest in order to secure long term meaningful benefit from our existing relationships.
Mr Rice says, "To succeed New Zealand companies need to plan their own long term strategy, do their research, and build relationships. China is not a market for the short term. For many New Zealand businesses the time has come to assess the long term opportunities available in China and consider a long term strategy to capture these opportunities."
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