Hon Phil Goff
Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade
27 August 2000
Big opportunities in China - Goff
China presents huge economic opportunities for New Zealand says Foreign Minister Phil Goff, who spent last week there on
an official visit.
"China's economy has averaged growth of over 7% per annum for twenty years. In the next half century it could become the
largest economy in the world. If we manage the relationship properly China's prosperity will contribute to our own
"New Zealand's exports to China grew 17% last year, with big growth in tourism (which increased dramatically by 65% for
the year to May 2000) and education services.
"The biggest immediate opportunity now is in education. New Zealand provided a full-fee education service to only 400
Chinese students two years ago. In the twelve months to July 2000 we have received well over 6,000 student visa
applications. Around 75% of these are likely to be approved.
"Each of those students brings in $10,000 in foreign exchange. We could be looking at $45 million in earnings from China
"In Hangzhou on Wednesday, I opened an education promotion seminar which received extensive television coverage
"My message was that New Zealand offered a full range of quality education opportunities, with living and tuition costs
comparing very favourably with other English speaking countries.
"The education industry has great strategic value to New Zealand. Think how much easier it is dealing with business
people or government officials who have been educated in New Zealand, and think how much more rapport there is instantly
with someone who has a daughter or son studying in New Zealand.
"Many students, having qualified and gained work experience in New Zealand will apply to settle here. They will already
have a good knowledge of New Zealand, will settle in and find employment readily and make a huge contribution to the
growth and prosperity of our country. They will have language skills and links to their country of origin that will
promote trading opportunities.
"With government working in partnership with educational institutions, New Zealand has the potential quite quickly to
expand the wider international education industry, which currently earns around $415 million annually in foreign
exchange earnings, into a billion dollar industry," Mr Goff concluded.