New Zealand Economic Development Minister Simon Bridges on Friday welcomed the opening of a new regional Chinese e-commerce base as an opportunity for exporters.
Bridges said he would attend the opening of e-commerce giant Alibaba Group's Australia and New Zealand headquarters in Melbourne, Australia, on Saturday.
"Alibaba Group is the world's largest online and mobile marketplace and presents an enormous opportunity for New Zealand exporters to sell their products into the huge China market," Bridges said in a statement.
"China is our second-biggest trading partner after Australia and we have all witnessed the rise of e-commerce platforms globally, but few countries have embraced e-commerce with the gusto shown by Chinese consumers," said Bridges.
"In the last year, China's e-commerce retail sales have grown 37 percent versus 11.3 percent in standard retail; mobile commerce sales have grown 123 percent; and 50 percent of the population are yet to access the Internet," he said.
"With a population size of 1.4 billion and growing recognition and demand for Western brands, it is clear that e-commerce presents significant opportunities for our exporters. Alibaba is a key gateway to taking advantage of this."
The opening of the headquarters followed last year's memorandum of understanding signed between the government's New Zealand Trade and Enterprise agency and Alibaba Group, which formalised discussions for strengthening trade between China and New Zealand.