Asia:NZ establishes young leaders exchange with Chinese partner

Media release 18 June 2010

A new exchange programme has been formally established for select groups of New Zealand and Chinese young leaders to build links with and learn about their counterparts.

The Asia New Zealand Foundation (Asia:NZ) has partnered with the Chinese People’s Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries (CPAFFC) to run a Sino-New Zealand Youth Exchange programme.

The exchange’s objective is to develop long-term relationships and to establish links and promote communication among future leaders of the two countries.

Five members of the Asia:NZ Young Leaders Network participated in the inaugural exchange in October 2009, travelling to China to undertake a programme of meetings, briefings and activities. 

A reciprocal visit was recently hosted by Asia:NZ with five young leaders from China travelling to New Zealand for meetings and relationship building. The Chinese group consisted of delegates from China’s Social Security Fund, China National Water Resource Department, State Foreign Administration and the CPAFFC. 

Activities included briefings with Fonterra, NZTE, Cosco NZ, the Confucius Institute as well as a seminar on the history of Chinese in New Zealand by Asia:NZ trustee Dr Manying Ip.

The Chinese delegation also visited the Waitakere City Council to learn about efforts to maintain an eco-city as well as travelling to the Bay of Plenty for meetings with businesses (Priority One, Comvita) and a tour of Otumoetai College. The trip also included a visit to Te Papa in Wellington and meetings with the Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China, the Minister of Ethnic Affairs, Hon Pansy Wong, and the Minister of Education, Hon Anne Tolley.

The Sino-NZ Youth Exchange is a joint initiative with the CPAFFC following the appointment to the Asia:NZ board of honorary adviser Madame Li Xiaolin who is Vice President of CPAFFC.

Mme Li will accompany China’s Vice President, Xi Jinping, on his trip to New Zealand this week and will sign an exchange of letters acknowledging the Sino-New Zealand Youth Exchange with Asia:NZ Chair, Hon Philip Burdon.

Mme Li is one of 16 honorary advisers in Asian nations who are an important human resource for Asia:NZ in its objective to make New Zealand more Asia literate. The honorary advisers’ board provides knowledge and influence as well as access to networks at the most senior levels in their countries of appointment for the New Zealand Government and Heads of Mission.

For more information about Asia:NZ’s honorary advisers board, visit this page

For more information on the recent Sino-NZ delegation to New Zealand, click here