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Goldsmith is NZ's voice at China forum

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 13/05/2017
Paul Goldsmith © Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images Paul Goldsmith

It's in New Zealand's best interests to participates in international initiatives that benefit the economy, Science and Innovation Minister Paul Goldsmith has said ahead of a trip to China for an international co-operation forum.

Mr Goldsmith will attend the One Belt One Road Forum in Beijing on Sunday and Monday.

New Zealand was the first Western nation to sign up to the ambitious transnational infrastructure programme during a visit by Chinese Premier Li Keqiang in March.

The project was first unveiled by President Xi Jinping in 2013 as a way to revive ancient land and ocean trade routes.

It would connect China with Europe through Central Asia, and with south-east Asian regions through the country's southern provinces.

Analysts estimate One Belt One Road has $US1.3 ($NZ1.9) trillion in projects already initiated under the banner.

It's been speculated China Railway could be granted a contract to build a 22km highway from Whangarei to Marsden Point port in New Zealand as part of the programme.

China's aim is to boost economic growth and trade while cutting down on transit times.

"Attending the first Belt and Road Forum will allow us to add a distinctly New Zealand voice and perspective," Mr Goldsmith said.

"We have a great record of advocating for open, rules-based systems that make trading, investment and people movements flow more easily."

Australia's Trade Minister Steve Ciobo is also attending the forum but the country has not yet signed up to the initiative.

Mr Goldsmith will also meet with China's Science and Technology Minister Wan Gang and Education Minister Chen Baosheng.

He will open the University of Auckland's Innovation Institute at Hangzhou and attend a 10th anniversary event at Peking University's New Zealand Centre.

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