New Zealand Announces First Consul-General For Western China

1799c42Foreign Minister Murray McCully has appointed diplomat Alistair Crozier to open New Zealand’s new Consulate in Chengdu, Western China.

“We are now aiming to reach two-way trade with China of $30 billion by 2020 – having surpassed the earlier goal of $20 billion well ahead of schedule,” Mr McCully says.

“A New Zealand presence in the west of China will help us reach this ambitious target and provide further support for New Zealand companies who are looking to expand beyond the coastal cities of China.

“The Consulate will be a key part of New Zealand’s expanded diplomatic presence in China, which will also see additional staff deployed to Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou.

“Opening the Consulate also recognises the growth in consumer demand across China. It will allow New Zealand to continue to promote ourselves as an education and tourism destination in rapidly expanding markets.

“The post will cover Sichuan, Yunnan and Guizhou provinces as well as Chongqing municipality, with a combined total population of almost 200 million,” Mr McCully says.

Mr Crozier is a Mandarin speaker who has served twice before in China, including as New Zealand’s first education counsellor. He has also worked in Viet Nam and Papua New Guinea and brings extensive knowledge of the region to his new role.

Mr McCully also announced diplomat Guergana Guermanoff as New Zealand’s new Consul-General to Shanghai.

“New Zealand’s trade with China has been growing strongly in the past five years, and Shanghai is an important point of entry to the Chinese market for many New Zealand firms,” Mr McCully says.

“Shanghai is an important post for New Zealand. It is the commercial hub of China. The new Consul-General will oversee the further expansion of New Zealand’s presence in the Shanghai Delta.
“Shanghai is also home to the largest New Zealand business community in China and with daily direct flights from New Zealand, it is a key market for tourism, education services and investment.

“The Shanghai operation also houses representatives from Education New Zealand, Immigration New Zealand, MPI, NZTE, and Tourism New Zealand,” Mr McCully says.

In addition to Shanghai, the Consul General will also have responsibility for Zhejiang, Jiangsu, and Anhui provinces, an economic region of over 180 million people.

Ms Guermanoff is currently a Lead Adviser in the China team at the Ministry. She is a Mandarin speaker who has served twice at the New Zealand Embassy in Beijing, including as the Education Counsellor. She will take up her role in early 2015.