One of the two new South Canterbury dairy farms placed under restrictions recently has tested positive for Mycoplasma bovis infection.
“China is particularly important to us as a market and we are trying to do our best to work with China as they are going through some substantial change,” Knox told the recent Infant Nutrition Council in Auckland.
“Many things are happening in China which are influencing its thinking and ultimately our trade.”
Knox says President’s Xi reaffirmation as leader at the 19th Party Congress “was an important step in being clear about the direction for the next five years and potentially more”.
“His agenda and his power base have been well and truly reinforced. And I think we will see a continued trend on the sorts of issues he has been focused on.”
President Xi’s Belt and Road initiative – one Knox says he heard about every day while in Beijing – is a big geopolitical move by China.
This mega-infrastructure project is intended to create a China-centred trade network connecting Asia, Africa and Europe. It would encompass about 60 countries and Oceania is included.
“It is also a great opportunity in our view, for countries like NZ, to leverage the desire to facilitate trade,” says Knox. “We see the cooperation agreement that the NZ government signed with China on Belt and Road as a fantastic opportunity to push ahead our trade facilitation agenda focusing on not just the rules but how things get cleared into the market and the cost of doing that.
“There is a big effort going on here and in China to look at where China and NZ can get together to progress Belt and Road initiatives and trade facilitation.”
Knox says President Xi has made it clear he expects the regulators to work harder to facilitate trade.
“We are already seeing a shift in attitude from some of our counterparts there as a result of that.
“China is in transition from a production to consumer economy.
That is expected to continue and increase the demand for high quality products and services. The top 5-10% of Chinese consumers are expected to continue to increase in wealth and purchasing power,” he added.