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China, NZ expand dairy trade


03-28-2017 08:00 BJT

Full coverage: Premier Li Visits Australia, New Zealand

(Source: CGTN)

China is already New Zealand's biggest investor in agriculture, and the country's top overseas destination of dairy products. And that smooth cooperation is not slowing down, even as world dairy prices drop sharply in the last few months. China's biggest dairy producers keep expanding in the oceanic country.

The world's largest integrated dairy factory. When it goes into full operation in 2020, it will provide for two billion customers worldwide. And this ongoing project in South Island, New Zealand, is a 3 billion yuan investment by Chinese company Yili. That's more than 430 million US dollars.

"New Zealand has particular advantages when it comes to natural resources. For example, grasslands and cattle are of very high quality, while the cost of breeding is low. That is why we set up our production base here in New Zealand," Chairman of Yili Group Pan Gang said.

The project started in 2014. Now, the factory has become the biggest local employer.

"Obviously many of them come to the local community with the jobs it created, it is also fantastic to see that Yili is doing a sponsorship of a scholarship for local high school... I'm very pleased with it," Mayor of Waimate Craig Rowley said.

From setting up production plants to operating ranches, China's biggest players in the industry have almost all made a dent in New Zealand. The mega-enterprise Evergrande, which started in real estate, has also teamed up with the New Zealand producer GMP to help China meet its domestic demand.

"China continues to have a growing demand for high quality baby formula. We're investing more here so we can bring back to China the best products. And we'll continue to do that," Chairman of Evergrande Dairy Xu Wen said.

An earlier estimate from the company says 20 million cans of its powder products will head to China by 2018. It's a good deal both ways.

And as business goes along nicely, these cattle have more to gracefully graze for.

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