Chinese Premier Li Qiang to visit New Zealand this week

Chinese Premier Li Qiang will visit both Auckland and Wellington.
Chinese Premier Li Qiang will visit both Auckland and Wellington. Photo credit: Getty Images

Chinese Premier Li Qiang will visit New Zealand this week, Prime Minister Christopher Luxon says.

It is the first visit by a premier of China since former Premier Li Keqiang in 2017.

Li's visit includes bilateral talks, an official dinner and engagements in both Auckland and Wellington focused on innovative business, agri-tech, education, and people-to-people connections, Luxon said.

The visit marks 10 years since the conclusion of the New Zealand China Comprehensive Strategic Partnership.

Luxon said the visit was a "valuable opportunity for exchanges on areas of cooperation".

"New Zealand and China engage where we have shared interests, and we speak frankly and constructively with each other where we have differences. Our relationship is significant, complex, and resilient," Luxon said.

"The challenging global outlook makes it vital that we are sharing perspectives and engaging China on key issues that matter to New Zealand."

New Zealand had a lot to offer its largest trading partner, Luxon said.

"I am confident that trade with China will continue to grow, supporting the government's goal to double the value of exports in the next decade."

Luxon to visit Japan

Luxon also announced he will visit Japan from Sunday, accompanied by a senior business delegation, his wife Amanda Luxon and Minister for Trade Todd McClay.

"As well as being known for our high-quality products and services, we will be promoting New Zealand as an attractive destination for Japanese investors, tourists and students," he said.

Luxon said Japan was a natural strategic partner for New Zealand.

"I'm looking forward to meeting Prime Minister Kishida Fumio and sharing perspectives on global and regional issues, as well as agreeing some concrete ways New Zealand and Japan can step up our cooperation in relation to defence and security."

Japan is New Zealand's fourth largest export destination.

"As you know, growing the economy is my number one priority. A strong economy means we can invest in more of the areas that New Zealanders need, such as health, education, and law and order.

"Our trade relationship is a key plank to economic success. We are a small, geographically isolated country that relies on exporting our goods to the world.

"If we are to maximise our economic growth, we will need to continue to strengthen international relationships to meet our ambitious target of doubling the value of our exports in the next 10 years."