WELLINGTON, New Zealand - While the United States continues to spar with the second largest economic superpower in the world, China is setting about doing plenty of business with other nations.
On Tuesday in Wellington, China signed an agreement with New Zealand to bind the two countries to develop and expand the forestry industry in the Pacific twin-island nation.
The document was signed by New Zealand's Forestry Minister Shane Jones (pictured) and Zhang Jianlong, the Administrator of China's National Forestry and Grasslands Administration.
The two countries have committed and reaffirmed to work together to support and strengthen links between government, industry and research institutes in New Zealand and China. The agreement provides a framework to address sustainability, wood processing and utilisation, and trade and investment, Jones said.
"The forestry sector is an important and growing part of our bilateral trade with China, with export revenue topping $3.2 billion in the year ending 2018," the minister said.
"Much of this growth has come from increased Chinese demand for New Zealand forestry products, supporting both continued high prices and record export volumes."
"A number of Chinese companies choose to use wood sourced from New Zealand for their manufacturing, and I'm keen to see how we can grow the relationship further, especially for our respective wood processing industries," Jones continued.
"With my Chinese counterpart, I have agreed that officials will cooperate to encourage increased trade, including in value-added wood products."
"I'm pleased to announce that we will hold talks in China later this year, which industry will be invited to, to promote government-to-government and industry-to-industry collaboration," the New Zealand foreign minister added.
"Signing the updated arrangement is a testament to the huge amount of goodwill between our two countries, and marks a commitment to continue working together for mutual benefit."
"I see a multitude of opportunities for New Zealand and China to cooperate and support our forestry and wood processing industries, in a way that also supports environmental objectives," said Jones.
"The wider One Billion Trees goal to plant at least one billion trees by 2028 is an ambitious one, and it will drive regional revitalisation, support Mori to realise the potential of their land, and deliver benefits to our people and our environment."
"Ensuring an end-to-end value chain for our logs and forest products, along with our relationships with trading partners, including China, are an important part of achieving these aspirations," the minister concluded.