Wellington, Apr 23 (Xinhua-ANI): Chinese companies could soon be investing in infrastructure projects in New Zealand's biggest city, Auckland Mayor Len Brown said Monday.
Brown has just returned from leading 28 Auckland businesses on a 10-day, five-city trade mission to China, visiting Auckland's sister cities Guangzhou, Qingdao and Ningbo as well as Beijing and Shanghai.
"It is critically important for us and Auckland businesses to be in China building these relationships. It cannot be done from behind a desk in Auckland," said Brown in a statement.
"I've seen influential new connections made, existing relationships strengthened and clear commercial deals moving into place."
Auckland could be in a position to gain from Chinese capital funding towards some of the region's key infrastructure projects, he said.
"We have seen that a lot of people want to invest in a range of business areas in Auckland, and we will have to work hard with them to ensure we achieve the best possible outcomes."
The delegation, representing key economic sectors, including education, film and animation, tourism, biotech, investment and infrastructure, was supported by New Zealand's Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
The delegates attended business seminars and briefings, networking sessions, site visits, and accompanied Brown to a number of high profile civic events.
Some of the outcomes included Auckland city's tourism and development arm being invited to attend the Ningbo Trade and Investment Forum, as well as a series of reciprocal visits with at least three Chinese groups coming to Auckland next month.
A memorandum of understanding signed between Film Auckland and the Beijing Film Academy Modern Creative Media College in Qingdao would see a New Zealand Film Week established in Qingdao from 2013.
Brown also signed a letter of intent with the Shanghai Mayor Han Zheng to forge mutually beneficial friendly relations, and had a meeting with Beijing Mayor Guo Jinlong.
"Whether we are strengthening relationships with our sister cities or breaking new ground with the powerhouses of Shanghai and Beijing, these are vital connections for Auckland and the platform for a whole new world of economic opportunity," said Brown. (Xinhua-ANI)