The photo shows Phil Goff, Mayor of Auckland. [Photo\Zhong Ruijun, Weng Sicheng (intern) Nanfang Metropolis Daily]
When asked about his favorite Cantonese food, Phil Goff, Mayor of Auckland, said the word “seafood” without any hesitation, like most locals in Guangzhou would do.
Wrapping up his trip to the Tripartite Economic Guangzhou Summit, Phil Goff, Mayor of Auckland, said he had witnessed massive changes in the relations between China and New Zealand, and now, between Guangzhou and Auckland.
As Minister of Trade in 2008, Phil Goff led the negotiations and signed the Free Trade Agreement between China and New Zealand. Then he saw the Belt and Road Initiative get underway and the Tripartite Alliance formed between Guangzhou, Auckland and Los Angeles. For him, these bilateral relations are vivid, multi-dimensional and down-to-earth.
“Guangdong and Guangzhou are natural places for us to build relationships. We have a long history of connection and a lot in common...”
Phil Goff said that the Tripartite Alliance has been particularly successful in tightening ties between Guangzhou, Auckland and Los Angeles. The three cities are the gateways to the South China, Oceania and West Coast US markets.
Having just concluded this year’s Tripartite Summit attracted over 500 enterprise representatives from the three cities. “We brought about 120 business delegates. This is the biggest ever business delegation that has ever left Auckland,” said Goff.
Phif Goff said Guangzhou was attractive due primarily to its vibrant business environment. “With a population of 14 million, Guangzhou is a huge market for Auckland,” he said, “besides, Guangdong and Guangzhou were ‘natural places’ for New Zealand and Auckland to develop relationships because we have a long history of connection.”