Prime Minister Chris Hipkins to meet China's President Xi Jinping on overseas trip

PM Chris Hipkins will travel to China.
PM Chris Hipkins will travel to China. Photo credit: Getty Images


New Zealand Prime Minister Chris Hipkins' office has confirmed he will meet with China's President Xi Jinping during his trip to the country next week.

He is also lined up to meet with Premier Li Qiang, and chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress Zhao Leji.

Hipkins, who announced the trip a week ago, will be joined by a 29-strong business delegation and Te Whānau a Apanui, champions of Te Matatini.

His trip will include stops in Beijing, Tianjin and Shanghai, with events including a sustainability forum, a gala dinner, giving a keynote address at Peking University, and attending the World Economic Forum "annual meeting of new champions".

In Shanghai he will launch a tourism partnership, attend sector and business events, and meet with senior Shanghai leadership.

He will be joined by Trade and Export Growth Minister Damien O'Connor, and Tourism Minister Peeni Henare.

"China represents nearly a quarter of all our exports, was our second largest source of tourists pre-Covid and is a significant source of international students, so it's a critical part of our economic recovery," Hipkins said.

"This is a particularly timely opportunity to promote New Zealand's tourism industry with direct airline connectivity out of China expected to return to around 75 percent of pre-Covid levels in the June quarter of 2023."

He said he planned to discuss climate change, economic stability, regional and global security, human rights, and the war in Ukraine in his meetings with officials.

"The export of traditional goods like dairy, meat and wood to China remain important, but it's critical we also throw our support behind emerging sectors such as gaming and health and wellness, and the make-up of the delegation reflects our objective of diversifying the breadth of our export offering."

The delegation is expected to leave on Sunday, returning to New Zealand on Friday 30 June.