Building the Southern Link Conference Logo

Conference co-hosted by:

New Zealand China CouncilLatin America New Zealand Business Council

CARI                    Fudan University               

There is an opportunity to make New Zealand a major and natural connection point between China and South America – it’s called the Southern Link.  The idea has been talked about for some time.  China’s Belt and Road Initiative provides a framework to make it a reality. 

This international conference to be held at the Aotea Centre in Auckland on 25 June is the opportunity to build a value proposition for the concept and to put together a coalition to take it forward.

The conference aims to further develop the value proposition of the Southern Link by:

  • Bringing together around 200 international experts and key stakeholders to discuss these ideas, identify potential coalition partners and develop recommendations to governments
  • Identifying opportunities and challenges and outlining the scope of potential projects between the three partners (China, New Zealand, Chile, Argentina and potentially other interested countries in South America) which would help turn the theory behind the idea into practice
  • Developing a sense of the value that could be created by trilateral co-operation – including, from a NZ perspective, the added value that could be created for our relationships with both China and South America
  • Continuing to focus government, business and public attention on the opportunities for leverage arising from participation in BRI.

The conference is not a one-off event. It is designed to have impact and to set an agenda for further work. Its legacy will be to establish a coalition of interested commercial and other parties to progress the Southern Link.

Briefing Document

We are pleased to provide a briefing document ahead of the Conference, to summarise the main goals and provide a point of reference on the day. It provides detail on the opportunities and challenges of the Southern Link Project and how businesses and organisations could benefit from being involved in the process. 

Supporters and Sponsors

Auckland Airport

Latin America CAPE
pwc New Zealand


Please note this programme is subject to change.

Tuesday 25 June 2019

0730Registration at the Aotea Centre
0830Mihi whakatau
0845Welcome from MC: Stephanie Honey
0855Welcome Address:
Hon David Parker, Minister of  Trade and Export Growth, Minister of Environment, and Minister of Economic Development

Welcome Address:
Rt Hon Sir Don McKinnon, Chairman of the NZ China Council and Patron of the Latin America NZ Business Council
0940Key Note: The Southern Link - the Big Picture 
Hon Tim Groser, former Trade Minister, former Ambassador to the United States and the World Trade Organisation in Geneva
1010Morning tea (Sponsored by ICBC)
1040Key Note: The Southern Link and the strategic imperative for China
Professor Huang Renwei, Executive Director, Belt and Road and Global Governance Institute, Fudan University
1110Key Note: The Southern Link and the strategic imperative for South America
Ambassador Carlos Portales, Institute of International Studies at the University of Chile and former senior official at the Chilean Ministry of Foreign Affairs
1140Video Address
Rt Hon Sir John Key, former Prime Minister of New Zealand
1145Panel Discussion: The Southern Link - an opportunity for trilateral co-operation
  • Ambassador Eduardo Sadous, Argentine Council for International Relations
  • Loreto Leyton, Executive Director, Chilean Pacific Foundation
  • Professor Chen Zhimin, Vice-President, Fudan University
  • Stephen Jacobi, Executive Director, New Zealand China Council
1245Video Address:
Hon Lianne Dalziel, Mayor of Christchurch
1250Cultural connection and opportunity: Thinking big about collaboration across the Southern Link
Jerry Clode, Founder, The Solution
Lunch and Address 

Lunch Address:
H.E. Mme Wu Xi, Chinese Ambassador to New Zealand
1430Concurrent Sessions: Building the value proposition, identifying the challenges
  • Movement of people (tourists, students), chaired by Justin Tighe-Umbers, BARNZ
  • Movement of goods (multi-model freight, e-commerce and parcel post), chaired by Nick Falconer, Auckland Airport
1600Afternoon tea (Sponsored by ICBC)
1630Report from each of the Concurrent Session Chairs
1645Conference Reflection and summary 
Hon Tim Groser, former Trade Minister, former Ambassador to the United States & the World Trade Organisation in Geneva
1700Next Steps
Stephen Jacobi, Executive Director, New Zealand China Council
1715Conference close and Networking Drinks
Remarks by Mayor of Auckland, Hon Phil Goff


Stephanie Honey, MC

Stephanie is Associate Director of the New Zealand International Business Forum and policy advisor to the New Zealand members of the APEC Business Advisory Council.  She is also a trade policy consultant and co-founder of a business offering executive education in trade policy.  Stephanie’s interests include regional economic integration and the WTO, agriculture and food trade, services trade, investment and the digital economy.  She has expertise and experience in the Asia-Pacific including China and ASEAN, the Americas, Europe and Australia.  Prior to becoming a consultant, Stephanie served as the New Zealand Agriculture Negotiator in the WTO Doha Round as well as a variety of other roles in the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade. 

Hon. David Parker

Hon. David Parker grew up and studied in Dunedin, graduating with a BCom/LLB from the University of Otago. He had a long career in business and law before being elected to Parliament as Labour Member of Parliament in the former electorate of Otago in 2002.
David was appointed to Cabinet in 2005, and served as Minister of Energy, Climate Change, Transport, State Services, Attorney-General, and Land Information under Helen Clark’s Government. In Opposition, he served as Deputy Leader, Shadow Attorney General, and in Finance, Economic Development and various other roles. His focus has always been, and remains, on delivering prosperity and fairer economic outcomes for all New Zealanders. 

Hon. Tim Groser

Hon. Tim Groser was New Zealand’s Trade Minister, Administrator of the Trans Pacific Partnership Negotiations and a Member of Parliament between 2005 and 2015.  He brings unparalleled insights into global trade and economic integration. A former diplomat he has served as New Zealand Ambassador to the World Trade Organisation in Geneva, New Zealand’s Chief Negotiator in numerous negotiations and Chair of the WTO Agriculture Negotiations.  He was also Ambassador to Indonesia. In  December 2015 he took  up the role of New Zealand's ambassador to the United States of America, a position he held for a three-year term. Tim’s vantage point is of a long-time practitioner and public policy maker who is widely respected in international trade circles.

Sir Don McKinnon

Sir Donald McKinnon served as the Commonwealth Secretary-General from 2000 to 2008. He is a former Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs, and has also served as Leader of the House and Minister of Pacific Island Affairs.
During his tenure as New Zealand’s longest serving Foreign Minister, he was the inspiration behind what now has become The Asia Society from the Asia 2000 Group, and also the Centre for Strategic Studies.
Sir Don was named Foreign Minister of the Year by a World Economic Forum publication in 1998 and was nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize for his work in bringing about a peaceful resolution to the decade-long civil war on Bougainville in Papua New Guinea.
He now sits on the Board of Advisors of the Global Panel Foundation and is an Associate with the Aspen Atlantic Group in Washington DC.  Sir Don is also Patron of  the Latin America New Zealand Business Council (LANZBC), New Zealand War Graves Trust, the Rutherford Foundation and Trustee of Asia Foundation.  He has also been CEO of the Auckland War Memorial Museum and is now the Chair of Regional Facilities Auckland and the New Zealand China Council.
The New Zealand Government awarded him its highest honour, the “Order of New Zealand” ONZ and Queen Elizabeth II awarded Don McKinnon a Knighthood being the Knight Grand Cross of the Victorian Order G.C.V.O. 

Huang Renwei

Professor Huang is Executive Director-General of Fudan Institute of Belt and Road and Global Governance. He is the former Vice-President of Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences, Senior Fellow for international studies, as well as Chairman of the Think Tank Research Center, and Secretary-General of World Forum for China Studies.Prof Huang is currently Vice Chairman of the Chinese Association of International relations, Chairman of Shanghai Association For American Studies, and Senior Fellow of the Cross Strait Research Center.Professor Huang has published many books and articles on global governance, Sino-US relations, belt and road initiatives, international trade and cross strait relations.  His books, including The Time and Space of China’s Rise (2002), have been widely quoted; and he has participated in many second-track strategic dialogues between China and US.

Carlos Portales

Institute of International Studies, University of Chile

Carlos Portales Cifuentes is the former permanent representative of Chile in the international organizations in Geneva. He was coordinator of Chile for the Río Group and the Ibero-American Summit after serving as ambassador of Chile to Mexico 1994 to 1997 and as permanent representative of Chile to the Organization of American States in Washington from 1997 to 2000. He was also the director of the Diplomatic Academy “Andrés Bello,” managing director of planning in the Ministry of Foreign Relations, and director of foreign policy for the Chancery. Mr. Portales earned his degree in Legal and Social Sciences at the Unviersidad de Chile and a Master’s of Arts in Political Sciences at Stanford University. 

Eduardo A. Sadous

Eduardo A. Sadous is Ambassador (ret.). He served as Argentine Ambassador to Malaysia, Brunei Darussalam and Venezuela. Undersecretary of International Economic Negotiations (1998-99). Director of the Committee on Asian Affairs at the Argentine Council for International Relations (since 2011). Professor at Belgrano University, Salvador University, National University of La Plata, Catholic University of Salta, etc. President of the International Law Association -Argentine Branch (since 2017). Member of the Argentine Academy of History, Argentine Academy of Communication Sciences, Academia del Ptata, etc. 

Loreto Leyton

Loreto Leyton is the Executive Director of the Chile Pacific Foundation and currently is serving as Executive Director of the APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC) during 2019. As a former diplomat of the Chilean Foreign Service, she served, among other postings, five years at the Embassy of Chile in Argentina, five years at the Mission of Chile to the United Nations and two years as senior adviser to the Secretary General of the Organization of American States (OAS). She has a deep experience in international negotiations and affairs. During her work at the UN, she was elected Vice-President of the Third Committee of the General Assembly and Vice-President of the Commission on the Status of Women, both on behalf of Latin America. Before leaving the diplomatic service, she also spent two years at the Chilean Trade Promotion Agency where she was the Executive Secretary of the Advisory Councils on Attraction of Foreign Investment and on Industry and Services. She has a Master´s Degree in Business Administration (MBA) from the Institute of High Entrepreneurial Studies of the Universidad Austral of Argentina and a degree in Geography from the Pontificia Universidad Católica of Chile. 

Chen Zhimin

Dr. Chen Zhimin is Vice President of Fudan University, Shanghai, China. He is a Changjiang Scholar and a Jean Monnet Chair of European foreign policy. He is vice president of Chinese Association of International Studies. He serves as editor-in-chief of Chinese Political Science Review. His research interests include international relations theory, diplomacy studies, Chinese foreign policy and EU studies. Dr Chen's  major publications in Chinese include: China, the United States and Europe: Cooperation and Competition in a New Trilateral Relation (2011, first author); Contemporary Diplomacy (2008, first author); Foreign Policy Integration in European Union: An Mission Impossible? (2003, first author); Subnational Governments and Foreign Affairs(2001). He also co-edited (with David Zweig) China's Reforms and International Political Economy (Routledge, 2007). Professor Chen received all his degrees from Fudan University. He was a visiting fellow at Harvard University (1996-1997), also visiting scholar at Queen’s University, University of Durham, Lund University, Sciences Po. and Keio University. He was made a Chevalier dans L’Ordre des Palmes Academiques by the French Government in 2006.

Stephen Jacobi

Stephen was appointed to the role of Executive Director of the NZ China Council in May 2016. He has broad experience in government, industry and trade development. He serves concurrently as Executive Director of the NZ International Business Forum and Managing Director of Jacobi Consulting Ltd.
Stephen has extensive diplomatic, trade and government experience including posts as Deputy High Commissioner in Ottawa, Assistant Trade Commissioner in Paris and adviser on trade and diplomatic issues with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
Previously, Stephen served as Chief Executive of the New Zealand Forest Industries Council, a national pan-industry body representing the forestry and wood processing sector, the country’s third largest exporter. Stephen also ran the NZ US Council as Executive Director from 2005 to 2014.
In all these roles Stephen is a frequent media and public commentator on trade and economic development issues.

Jerry Clode

Jerry is arguably one of the few people with deep-level familiarity across our three key regions - China, South America and New Zealand.  After studying Chinese at Otago University, he has become a leading expert on China's consumer and digital culture.  In a 20 year career focused on China, Jerry has personally interviewed thousands of locals in their homes, out-shopping and doing what they love.  In a distinguished career, he is most well known for helping international brands such as Disney, Budweiser, H&M and Unilever localise their experiences and develop footholds in China.  
As part of a global career, as one of WPP's senior cultural specialists in London, Jerry spent four years in South America, in Sao Paulo and Santiago.   His focus at this time was helping brands connect with local millennials through events and collaborations.  While in South America, Jerry acted as a correspondent for Monocle Magazine, and also directed a full length documentary focused local urban music scenes. 
Jerry speaks Mandarin and Portuguese/Spanish.  He is the Founder of the consultancy, The Solution, focused on helping brands succeed in China and emerging markets. 


Places are limited so please register early to avoid disappointment. 

Registration Fees

Please note: All fees and prices are in NZD and inclusive of GST.

Earlybird (until 5 June 2019)Standard (from 6 June 2019)
Delegate Registration$450$500

Registration Information

Method of Payment

Payments can be made via the following methods:

Credit cards: AMEX, MasterCard, Visa,

Bank transfer (New Zealand delegates only). Bank details will be supplied on your tax invoice if requested. Please email a remittance advice to

Cancellation of Registration

Deadline: 24 May 2019

Should you need to cancel your registration for any reason, you may reassign your registration to another person. Please notify The Conference Company of the replacement delegate's name and contact details. If you cancel your registration prior to 24 May 2019 you will receive a refund less a cancellation fee of NZ$100. Cancellations made after that date will not be refunded.

Phone: +64 9 360 1240


Register Safely

Warning - fraudulent websites and booking agencies

The conference industry is confronted with an increasing number of fraudulent websites that impersonate legitimate conference websites, and booking agencies that are not authorised to make bookings for conference participants.

The Conference Company Ltd wishes to advise Building the Southern Link Conference participants to be aware of possible scams and urges all participants to only use this official website.

If you are contacted by any company or agency offering accommodation for the Conference, please note that these companies are not authorised to represent the Conference in any way.

If you have any questions around the legitimacy of a supposed conference website, or are contacted by any such agency, please don’t hesitate to contact us at or +64 9 360 1240


Entry into New Zealand

All visitors to New Zealand must have a valid passport for at least three months beyond the intended stay in New Zealand.

Citizens of some countries must obtain a Visitor’s Visa. Visa information and the visa application form are available at

If you require a Visitor’s Visa, please allow at least 5-6 weeks for processing.

If you are a citizen of a country which has a visa waiver agreement with New Zealand, you do not need to apply for a visa to visit New Zealand but you must:

* Hold a valid ticket from New Zealand to a country where you have the right of entry

* Have sufficient money to support yourself during your stay in New Zealand

* Hold a passport valid for 3 months beyond the date you intend leaving New Zealand

* Remain in New Zealand only for the time granted on your arrival

If your travel itinerary includes a transit stop in Australia you may need an Australian Transit Visa. Details about this and how to apply can be found by clicking here.

Failure to obtain this visa in advance of your travel may result in you being unable to board your aircraft.


Booking your travel to Auckland

Auckland Airport is serviced by several international airlines. Click here to find out more.

Domestic and regional airlines including Air New Zealand provide frequent services to Auckland from other New Zealand destinations. For airline contact details please click here.

For domestic travellers, there are intercity coaches which will arrive in the city centre. Click here to read more. 

You can also travel by train from Wellington, see information on the Northern Explorer. The Northern Explorer operates:

Auckland to Wellington - Monday, Thursday and Saturday
Wellington to Auckland - Wednesday, Friday and Sundays

On your arrival at Auckland Airport

Click here to read about New Zealand arrival procedures.


New Zealand has a national biosecurity system that is considered one of the most robust in the world. Please note that all food and plant and animal material (such as feathers, skins, bone or biological samples) must be declared on arrival and will be checked by officials. This is to ensure that New Zealand is kept free of dangerous pests and diseases which could jeopardise our important horticultural and agricultural industries, which play a significant part in our national economy.

Please ensure shoes which have been worn on farms in your home country are thoroughly cleaned. All dirt, grass and other matter must be removed from the bottom (especially the grooves in the soles of the shoes) and sides of the shoes. To avoid delays upon arrival in New Zealand, please place your shoes in a plastic bag in an easily accessible place in your luggage in case Customs do wish to inspect them.

If you will be visiting any New Zealand farms while you are here, please ensure your footwear is clean before arrival.

When returning to your own country you may be required to declare any visits to farms whilst you have been in New Zealand. Please ensure your shoes have once again been thoroughly cleaned and placed in a plastic bag in an easily accessible place in your luggage.

For more information, please visit Biosecurity New Zealand.

Transport from Auckland Airport

The airport is only 40 minutes from the CBD. Taxis are available at all times of the day from the front of the airport terminal.


The SkyBus is a cost effective way to travel from the airport to the city centre. The fares; $18 one way, $24 return. Find out more at the SkyBus website.


Super Shuttle offers a shared ride option from the Domestic Terminals. The approximate cost from the airport to the city is $25 for one person and an additional $10 for each extra person up to 11 persons in one shuttle for $125. The shuttles operate from the Shuttle rank at the airport (not the taxi rank). Bookings can be made on the Super Shuttle website.


A taxi fare from the airport to the centre is around $75. Co-op Taxis offer a meet and greet service, to access this service, email details of your arrival to them (date of arrival in Auckland, flight number, arrival time and number of passengers) and they will arrange for the driver to meet you at the “Meet & Greet” area in the Arrivals Hall. He or she will have a sign-board with your name on it. Contact Co-op Taxis by email, by telephone +64 9 300 3000, or bookings can be made on their website:

Car Rental

We encourage you to take advantage of corporate rates through Avis Rent a Car. Just call the local Avis office on 0800 284 722 and quote the booking reference number: AWD Z994400.



The Conference will be held at the Aotea Centre, located at 50 Mayoral Drive, Auckland City.

Registration Desk

The registration desk will be located outside the Hunua Rooms on level 1 of the Aotea Centre and will be open from 7:30am on Tuesday 25th June.



Auckland has a sub-tropical climate with heavy rain from May – December. Average June temperatures range from 9 – 15 degrees Celsius.

To view Auckland's current weather situation, click here.



The currency used is New Zealand dollar. Banking hours are usually 0900 -1600hrs, Monday to Friday. Automatic Teller Machines are well spread throughout the city. International credit cards are accepted throughout the country banks, most hotels and city stores.


Disclosure of Registration Information

If you do not wish your details to be provided to sponsors or other delegates, please tick the appropriate box on the registration form.



Dress for all sessions is smart casual.



New Zealand uses a 240 volt 50 cycle system with 3 pin flat plugs.


Goods and Services Tax

Goods and Services in New Zealand are subject to a 15% tax (GST). This tax is usually included in the price and if not, it is clearly stated. This tax cannot be claimed back by visitors, when leaving the country.



It is strongly recommended that you purchase comprehensive travel insurance to cover the duration of your visit to New Zealand and to protect against cancellation charges, loss or damage to your luggage and personal effects, loss of cash and medical expenses.


Name Badges

Name badges will be given to all delegates on registration. We ask that you wear your badge at all times.



The closest car park is Civic Car Park, entry on Greys Ave and Mayoral Drive. Rates start from $4 an hour, up to a maximum of $24. Please visit their website for more information.

Additional parking is available at the Wilson Carppark - 89 Greys Avenue.

Public transport in Auckland

Train and bus services run from Auckland's suburbs directly to and from the city centre. Full timetables and pricing can be found on the Auckland Transport website.


Special Requirements

Every effort will be made to ensure delegates with special needs are catered for. Should you require any specific assistance or catering please give details required on your registration form.



New Zealand is one of the first places in the world to see the new day, New Zealand is 12 hours ahead of GMT from April - September each year.



No vaccinations are required to enter New Zealand


Visitor Information Centres

i-SITE is New Zealand’s official visitor information network. I-SITEs are staffed by friendly and professional people with extensive local knowledge. Click here to find out more.

Contact Us

The Conference Company


Phone: +64 9 360 1240

Address: 31C Normanby Rd
Mt Eden, Auckland 1024
New Zealand

The Conference Company

© Copyright 2019 Building the Southern Link Conference | Conference is managed by The Conference Company. Designed and Developed by The Conference Company