On the afternoon of October 27, 2003, President Hu Jintao met separately with New Zealand business leaders and National Party leader, and held warm and friendly talks with them.
During his meeting with New Zealand business leaders, Hu first briefed them on China's situation and tasks in reform and opening up and pledged to further open up to the outside world. China will continue to improve laws and regulations governing business transactions with foreigners, in accordance with international practice and its commitments on joining the World Trade Organization. It would open up more fields and continue to strengthen market systems building and protection of intellectual property rights. All the moves were aimed at creating an open, orderly, credible and unified market that could secure fair competition and provide better conditions for foreign investment.
On further economic and technology cooperation between the two countries, Hu raised a four-point proposal: expanding cooperation in such traditional trade fields as electro-mechanics, wool, pulp and dairying; exploiting cooperation in technology, education, tourism and other services; promoting mutual investment and encouraging New Zealand companies to invest in China's western and northeastern regions, as they are the old industrial belts of China and China is carrying out the strategy of western development.
Asia Foundation President Sir Dryden Spring, Carter Holt Harvey CEO Peter Springford and Fonterra CEO Andrew Ferrier briefed President Hu on their cooperation with China. They said Hu has depicted an inspiring prospect for New Zealand-China economic and trade cooperation. Other business leaders present at the meeting also expressed their belief that the sustained development of China will surely bring great opportunities for their own success and closer cooperation between the business circles in the two countries.
During his meeting with National Party leader English, Hu said China and New Zealand are enjoying good development in their relations, with friendly exchanges between the two countries, expanding cooperation in economy and trade, education and tourism enhancement, which have brought about practical benefits to the two peoples. President Hu also expressed his appreciation for the National Party's adherence to its friendly policy toward China and positive contributions to the development of bilateral relations.
He said frequent exchanges of visits between the Communist Party of China (CPC) and the National Party have helped enhance mutual understanding between the two peoples and push forward bilateral relations. The CPC is willing to further strengthen friendly exchanges with the National Party for closer friendship and cooperation.
For his part, English said his party supports the policy of cementing ties with China adopted by the New Zealand government, and is willing to have exchanges with the CPC so as to contribute to the all-round cooperation between the two countries.