BALLANTINE, Colin (NAD)
[email address]; Robert Muir
Emma Miles-Buckler; [email address]; COGHILL, Lucy (BEI); Simon Gallagher
World Bank conference - follow-up
Monday, 11 November 2019 3:07:01 p.m.
YE June 2019 NZ - China Trade - Summary (FINAL DRAFT BEI).pdf
DB Conference Agenda Nov 22 version Nov 8.docx
Hi Ross and Robbie (and Simon)
It was great to have you at MFAT on Friday. We are really looking forward to you going to China
I have attached our latest bilateral trade stats (in case you want to refer to these in small-talk
with officials), as well as an etiquette and protocol guide (which is much more detailed than you
will need – just remember to bring lots of business cards). I have also attached the latest version
of the programme.
We have also just received confirmation of a fourth panellist from New Zealand. Jamie
Thompson of Customs has accepted an invitation to speak on the ‘Trading Across Borders’
indicator. Jamie has a long history with China and with trade negotiations, and will be a great
addition to the group. He will be travelling to Beijing from Hanoi for the conference. Jamie will be
staying at Hotel Jen, where I believe both of you will be too.
A few further points for you:
– could I please get from you by COP Wednesday your passport details
(i.e. the bio page)? This is for security requirements to let you into the conference on the
– please send me your visa when it comes through so I can make sure you’ve
got the right visa (and fix it if it’s incorrect).
– let’s meet up this week and I can get your visa application lodged at the
– I’ll lodge your application at the same time as I do Simon’s (and Ross’
changes, if needed).
As we said on Friday, we will take your guidance on what you think would be good to
include in the speeches. Aside from explaining the law changes needed to get to where
we are, as well as cutting edge tech we use in delivering our services, Ross’ point about
the culture shift also sounds good.
Other key points on presentations:
o We need your PowerPoints by this Friday, to be translated in time.
o In terms of acknowledgements, we are following this up. The full list of VIPs has
not yet been revealed to us, and may not be until the conference itself,
particularly if Premier Li is speaking as is rumoured.
o It would be great if you could insert some New Zealand-China relationship lines
into your speeches – these could be:
· Quoting the Prime Minister who has said many times that New Zealand’s
relationship with China is one of our most important and far-reaching.
· Noting that as our largest trading partner, and our largest export market,
China is crucial for the prosperity of New Zealanders – a good business
environment in China is good for New Zealand, and that is why we are so
engaged with China on improving its ‘Ease of Doing Business’
§ We do not think you need to insert any Chinese language phrases into your
speeches, but if you wanted to, you could use:
· Dah Jia Hao (dah jah how) – hello everyone (in the introduction)
· Xie Xie (shear shear) – thank you (in the conclusion)
We have also just received a request to provide biographies of the speakers to the
organisers. Can you please provide this by COP Wednesday? Just a few paragraphs.
- Other programmes
We are working to get you both a pull-aside or meeting with the World Bank’s China
team. There will also be a chance to meet with Clare (our Ambassador) and Ben King,
likely for dinner on Friday night after the conference. In addition:
– Rachel and I will be in touch separately about your IP
– given you are now arriving on the Thursday morning, we are investigating
a possible call for you on the Ministry of Natural Resources on the Thursday
afternoon (you are only meeting the think-tank in Wellington on the Wednesday
– not the actual Ministry).
Also, in case I haven’t already introduced you on emails, Lucy Coghill
(CC’d) will be your key
point of contact on the ground in Beijing. She is a Second Secretary in our Embassy there. Lucy
has arranged your airport transfers. Her mobile is +
[ s 9(2)(a) ]
If you have any queries, let me know.
North Asia Division
New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs & Trade | Manatū AorereT
+ [ s 9(2)(a) ] E
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GUIDE TO CHINESE ETIQUETTE AND PROTOCOL
• Chinese non-verbal communication
speaks volumes. Directness is considered culturally
inappropriate, so facial expression, tone of voice and posture are considered key
indications of how someone feels. Frowning while someone is speaking is interpreted as a
sign of disagreement, so most Chinese maintain an impassive expression when speaking.
• When responding to requests, it is considered rude to come out with a flat “no”
Chinese person wil avoid saying “no”, preferring instead to respond with “it’s not
convenient”, “we wil consider this”, or something similar. A quiet follow up after a meeting
might elicit more information if unclear.
• A nod or a “yes” can mean “yes, we’ve heard your concerns”
. It does not necessarily
mean “yes, we agree with you”.
• Business cards
are exchanged after initial introductions. Hold your card in both hands
when offering it, Chinese side (if applicable) facing the recipient. Treat business cards
received respectfully: examine before placing on the table next to you, or in a business card
case; and never write on someone's card unless so directed.
• Using an interpreter
is still the norm for Chinese senior officials and Ministers, particularly
for more formal or technical discussions, even though these days most do have a good
level of English. Interpretation is an extremely difficult skill, and an interpreter has to
remember what you are saying and then translate it with both accuracy and meaning.
When using an interpreter, remember to pause often to allow for interpretation. It is also
helpful to give the interpreter a heads up on any technical terms or statistics, if possible,
and to avoid Kiwi colloquialisms (e.g. “let’s kick for touch on that issue”).
• Business attire
in China is conservative and modest. In a formal setting, men would
normally wear dark coloured, traditional suits with a tie. Women are expected to wear
business suits or dresses with a high neckline. Anything dressier (or more casual) than a
business suit is rarely required, unless attending a function organised by the foreign
Please remember to arrive promptly. The Chinese consider tardiness to be very rude.
Rank is extremely important and should be kept in mind when communicating.
When arranging meetings between ‘counterparts’ Chinese and New Zealand sides need to
take into account the differences in our systems of government. On comparison, there are
not natural counterparts for many positions across the New Zealand and Chinese
bureaucracies (e.g. A New Zealand Secretary/CEO calls on a Chinese Vice Minister, even
though the nominal head of the department would be the Minister themselves.) Also,
Senior Chinese Party Members, regardless of role, will often outrank Chinese Ministers.
Greetings are formal and the most senior person is always greeted first, so delegations
should enter a room in protocol order to avoid confusing the host. Normally Chinese prefer
a handshake which is present, but relatively light in pressure and short in duration (but long
enough to allow a “grip-and-grin” photo opportunity).
If hosting, it is polite to meet your guest at the meeting room door, or sometimes just
outside the room. After the initial greeting, the head of the delegation may choose to
introduce the rest of the members. Follow their lead.
Seating follows protocol order. In many formal situations, only the two heads of the
respective parties will speak. The other members of the Chinese side will not normally
speak unless invited to do so by their senior.
Address the person by an honorific title and their surname. Just using the title is perfectly
fine, although it is best to drop “deputy” or “vice” when addressing someone as a sign of
courtesy, e.g. a Deputy Minister is addressed as “Minister”.
In a formal meeting, the host will speak first, in general terms, for about five minutes before
inviting the guest to respond. The guest should then speak for about the same length of
time, thanking the host, noting the importance of the relationship and outlining the reasons
for the visit, and introducing their team.
The western way of getting down to business immediately is viewed as impatient and
Following introductory exchanges, the host will speak again, in more detail. After that, it is
the guest’s turn again, and an opportunity to get into more detail.
Sensitive issues can be raised frankly, but in such a way as not to put Chinese interlocutors
on the spot, and require an immediate response, for example “we are very different
countries with different systems, but I appreciate that we the have chance to communicate
on issues where our perspectives differ.”
Difficult subjects or tough negotiations are best raised in a strategic manner,
so that the
Chinese delegation knows they are important to New Zealand, before being referred for
further work by ministers and officials.
Arrive on time or, if hosting, well in advance, to ensure you are ready to greet your guest,
even if they arrive early
Wait to be told where to sit. The guest of honour will be given a seat facing the door. If you
are hosting, you should show the guest of honour to his seat. Typically, the more junior the
member of the delegation, the closer they sit to the doors/entrance. The more senior the
guest, the further from the door they should sit
Be observant to other peoples' needs, especially when using a lazy Susan (turn-table).
Don’t rotate the turn-table without checking if someone is trying to get food. If you are the
host, make sure your guest of honour always has food in their bowl.
Chopsticks should be returned to the chopstick rest after every few bites and when you
drink or stop to speak. There is usually a set of chopsticks or serving spoons for dishing
food into your plate. The chopsticks which you use to eat with should never be used to dish
food for yourself, unless it’s a family meal.
If chopsticks pose difficulties, simply use the Chinese spoon that is usually provided at the
place setting. (Usually, either wait staff or the host will notice this, and you will be provided
with a fork, or it is fine to ask wait staff for one.)
The host offers the first toast. The guest should respond with a toast, either straight away or
after a period.
As a sign of respect, Chinese people will try to ensure their glass is slightly lower than the
other person’s when clinking them. You should do the same, if possible, but without
making a fuss.
• The host should then invite guests to begin their first course. This should be the same for
each new course – guests will wait for a cue from the host.
• During a meal, Chinese guests will eat politely to show appreciation. Guests will also place
utensils down to listen to the host speak, so breaks in the flow of conversation will allow
them to eat.
Never eat the last piece from the serving tray.
You don’t have to finish all the food in your bowl. If you don’t like something, sample a bit
and leave it. The waiting staff will clear it away.
Depending on seniority, the group will mostly want to maintain a single discussion
throughout, generally led by the host and the guest of honour. Smaller, separate
conversations can happen before and after the meal, and on the way to the door, for
As a guest at a meal, it is a nice gesture to prepare small gifts or good wine.
• Gift giving etiquette can vary from region to region. In general, the further south (especially
Guangdong), the more particular the Chinese are about gift-giving rules and etiquette.
Younger, westernised Chinese are more relaxed about what sort of gift is being presented.
It is good to check with host or visiting delegation in advance as to whether gifts are
required, and even to provide advance notice of the type of gift intended, to allow the other
side time to find something comparable.
• Always present gifts with two hands. Gifts are generally not opened when received,
although in the case of an official gift exchange, they may be opened.
• Four is an unlucky number so do not give four of anything (or anything with the digit four in
it e.g. 14, 24 etc). Eight is the luckiest number, so giving eight of something brings luck to
the recipient. A photo of the gift exchange may be expected.
• Give scissors, knives or other cutting utensils, as they indicate the severing of the
relationship (note: a Māori mere
would come into this category).
• Give clocks, handkerchiefs or straw sandals, as they are associated with funerals and
death. White flowers are also associated with funerals.
• Give an empty ornamental box, even if it is the box itself that is the gift.
• Wrap gifts in white, blue or black paper. Red is a happy colour (but not for writing text).
Improving the Business Environment for a More
Dynamic Economy of China and the World
A High-level International Conference on Doing Business
Practice and Reforms
Beijing, November 22 and 23, 2019
Conference jointly organized by the Ministry of Finance of China, People’s Government of Beijing
Municipality and the World Bank Group
Co-sponsors: Development Research Center of the State Council and China Council for the Promotion of
Venue: National Conference Center
Outline: In recent years, China has vigorously pushed forward with reforms that delegate power, improve
regulation, and upgrade services to improve the business environment. With a special focus on the World
Bank’s Doing Business Report, China has been learning from international good experience and has been
fostering a better business environment based on market principles, rule of law and compliance with
international standards. This high-level conference jointly held by China and the World Bank Group aims
to promote international knowledge exchange on improving the business environment for a more dynamic
economy of China and the world by presenting China’s reform experience and sharing international good
Friday, November 22
08:20 - 9:00
Registration of Guests
Chair: Wang Hong, Deputy Mayor, Beijing People's Municipal Government
9:00 - 9:10
Cai Qi, Party Secretary, Beijing People's Municipal Government
9:10 - 9:30
XXX, the State Council of China
9:30 – 9:50
XXX, the World Bank Group
9:50 - 10:20 Tea break
Chair: Zou Jiayi, Vice Minister, Ministry of Finance of China
Liu Kun, Minister, Ministry of Finance of China
Chen Jining, Mayor, Beijing People's Municipal Government
Nena Stoiljkovic, Vice President, International Finance Corporation
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Economy and Finance,
Mr. Myagmarsuren Bayarmagnai, Acting Deputy Chief of Cabinet Secretariat,
Ben King, Deputy Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, New
Vu Tien Loc, Chairman of the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industries,
12:00 - 13:00
Technical Sessions on Global Experience in Doing Business Reforms
(10 mins for each presentation and 30 mins for Q&A)
Building a More Open Economy: Trading and Investing Across Borders
Chair: Martin Raiser, China Country Director, the World Bank
A representative from the Ministry of Commerce of China on recent reforms on
A representative from the General Administration of Customs of China to present
China’s reforms in facilitating Trading Across Borders (TAB)
A representative from Shanghai on Free Trade Zone and TAB
A representative from Singapore on TAB (tbc)
Released A representative from New Zealand on TAB (tbc)
William Gain, Senior Private Sector Specialist, the World Bank to present
international good practice on TAB
Q&A (30 min)
Strengthening the Rule of Law: Contract Enforcement and Investor
Chair: Wencai Zhang, Director General, Department of International Economic
and Financial Cooperation, Ministry of Finance, China (tbc)
A representative from NDRC on the Ordinance on Improving Business
Environment, including Investor Protection
A representative from the Supreme Court of China on Intellectual Property
Andres Martinez, Senior Financial Sector Specialist, the World Bank, to present
international good practice on Resolving Insolvency and Getting Credit (10 mins
for each topic)
Shinichiro Abe, Attorney at Law, International Insolvency Institute, Japan, to
present on Japan’s experience in Resolving Insolvency
Ms. Madeleine Szeluch, Head of Investor Relations, Department for Business,
Energy and Industrial Strategy, United Kingdom, to present on UK’s experience
in Protecting Minority Investors
Q&A (30 min)
Streamlining Business Regulation: Paying Taxes, Dealing with Construction
Permits, Starting a Business and Registering Property
Chair: Sylvia Solf, Senior Private Sector Specialist, the World Bank
A representative from Beijing
Ross Van Der Schyff, Registrar, New Zealand Companies Office, on Starting a
Robbie Muir, Registrar-General of Land for New Zealand, on Registering
Released Kim Lovegrove, World Bank Consultant, on Construction Permits
Q&A (30 min)
Saturday, November 23
Parallel Session I: Discussion on the direction for future reforms with
representatives from the business community
Opening Remarks by Vice Chairman, China Council for the Promotion of
International Trade (tbc)
Chair: Michael Wang from CGTV (tbc)
Panel Discussion: Six or seven representatives from domestic and foreign firms
and foreign chambers of commerce in China to discuss the business environment
in China and direction for future reforms
Parallel Session II: Discussion on the direction for future reforms with
representatives from the academia
Chair: Zhang Junkuo, Vice Minister, Development Research Center of the State
Six representatives from the academia to discuss the business environment in
China and direction for future reforms:
Lin Yifu (林毅夫 tbc), Peking University
Liu Shijin(刘世锦 tbc), China Development Research Foundation
Gao Peiyong (高培勇 tbc), China Academy of Social Science
Yang Kaifeng (杨开峰), Renmin University
Martin Raiser, China Country Director, the World Bank
Marcin Piatkowski, Senior Economist, the World Bank
10:40-11:15 Closing remarks
Martin Raiser, China Country Director, the World Bank
Wang Hong, Vice Mayor of Beijing (tbc)