China is our most important trading partner, our largest source of international students and our second-largest tourist group. But how many of us can even pronounce a basic greeting in Mandarin?
Today marks the start of NZ Chinese Language Week, a new initiative aimed at bridging the linguistic divide between China and New Zealand.
But just how important is it for us to learn the language?
Stephen Jacobi from the International Business Forum thinks it's essential and he joined Paul Henry this morning to explain why.
He says China is becoming increasingly important to New Zealand and it's a good start to know the basics, but he thinks we can do more.
Watch the video for the full interview.