It is estimated that China will invest as much as US$2.5 trillion ($3.5t) in infrastructure across the region during the next decade. Picture / Getty Images
NZ Herald Business Editor at Large
New Zealand's preferential position in the Chinese market is at risk unless we actively pursue our place in its epic Belt and Road Initiative, says a report by PWC.
Commissioned by the New Zealand China Council, Belt and Road Initiative is pitched as a first step toward a strategic plan to maximise the benefits of Beijing's massive global infrastructure push.
The Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) was announced in 2013 by President Xi Jinping, who described it as the project of the century.
It seeks to enhance economic growth across the traditional Chinese trade routes – over land to Europe and by sea down through the Pacific.
It is estimated that China will invest as much as US$2.5 trillion ($3.5t) in infrastructure across the region during the next decade.
"The relationship we have with China has grown incredibly rapidly under the impetus of the Free Trade agreement," said New Zealand China Council chief executive Stephen Jacobi. "But some new momentum is needed."
The reason for that was other nations were staking their positions with trade deals and positioning themselves in the framework of the BRI.
Planned projects like a fast rail link from Beijing to Europe had the potential to shift the balance in trade with China, Jacobi said.
"It requires us to take another strategic look at what we can do with China, particularly as Belt and Road becomes the prism through which China looks at the rest of the world."
The massive investment in infrastructure through the region was likely to be focused on developing nations rather than countries like New Zealand, Jacobi said