Bilateral investment opportunities with China explored at Auckland Lantern Festival

Published: 12 January 2017
Filed under: Economic development, Invest

A forum on business relations between New Zealand and China will take place during the Auckland Lantern Festival – New Zealand’s largest Chinese cultural festival which attracts more than 200,000 people.

The inaugural ASB Lantern Forum business trade event, which will be held on Thursday 9, February, aims to capitalise on the profile of the Auckland Lantern Festival and build bilateral investment opportunities.

Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development (ATEED), on behalf of Auckland Council, is working in partnership with ASB and the Asia New Zealand Foundation to organise the forum, which will connect around 200 Chinese delegates, political leaders, migrants and business people.

ATEED General Manager Business, Innovation and Skills, Patrick McVeigh says the ASB Lantern Forum is part of ATEED’s work to increase investment, luxury tourism and trade between Auckland and China.

“New Zealand’s trade relationship with China has nearly tripled over the past decade. Two-way trade between the two countries totaled $18.8 billion in the year ending December 2015,” he says.

“China is Auckland’s second largest export market and there is huge potential for further growth. The ASB Lantern Forum will look to determine how to convert that potential into real economic gain with discussions around current economic ties, investment, government policy and future trading opportunities,” Patrick McVeigh says.

ASB General Manager Branch and International Banking Logan Munro says ASB is excited to be a part of the first annual ASB Lantern Forum. "The ASB Lantern Forum is a powerful opportunity to connect the Auckland and Chinese business communities at a significant time of the year. We think the ASB Lantern Forum is a great way to kick off the Auckland Lantern Festival," Mr Munro says.

The ASB Lantern Forum follows on from the Tripartite Economic Summit 2016 held in May, another of ATEED’s initiatives aimed at increasing Auckland’s connections and business with China which resulted in millions of dollars being invested in the local economy.

The ASB Lantern Forum will be held at the Auckland Museum Event Centre and will be followed by the Auckland Lantern Festival opening ceremony in the Auckland Domain.


  • The ASB Lantern Forum is an inaugural event designed to build on Auckland, and New Zealand’s, highly successful bilateral trade relations with China.
  • Around 200 business people, politicians and migrants are expected at the forum to discuss current economic ties, government policy, investment and trading opportunities.
  • The 2017 Auckland Lantern Festival, at Auckland Domain from Thursday, 9 – Sunday, 12 February 2017, is Auckland and New Zealand biggest Chinese cultural festival, attracting more than 200,000 visitors this year.
  • Now in its 18th year, the Auckland Lantern Festival celebrates the best of traditional and contemporary Chinese culture, including lanterns, live music and dance, martial arts, arts and crafts, food and fireworks
  • The Auckland Lantern Festival is part of Auckland’s Major Events Portfolio, guided by Auckland’s Major Events Strategy, which is designed to deliver social and economic benefits for the region, to help make Auckland better now, and for future generations.

For further information please contact

  • Amy Robens
  • Senior Communications Advisor – Business Innovation and Skills
  • Tel:  +64 21 399 544
  • Email: