My Dunedin Itinerary

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Linkages beyond our borders

Goals: Increase international investment. Establish strategic projects with other cities.

Business and investment attraction

A programme to identify and profile potential offshore investors and companies, business and R&D investment opportunities in Dunedin, and facilitate the matching of the investors with the opportunities. This will include developing collateral that articulates Dunedin’s value proposition to businesses and investors in New Zealand and offshore (including through We will also work with other regional and local councils to attract investment.

Project partners

Dunedin City Council, Ngāi Tahu, Otago Chamber of Commerce, Otago Polytechnic, Otago Southland Employers’ Association, University of Otago, Immigration New Zealand, KEA, Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, New Zealand Trade and Enterprise.

Project update

Second-phase project. A project team will be convened once the initial projects are well underway.

Project China

Dunedin has a close and thriving relationship with Shanghai, China. The 25 year formal relationship has seen Dunedin described by Shanghai vice-mayor Xu Kunlin as “the exemplar of sister cities”.

This mutual bond exists at the highest political levels in both cities. It opens doors for Dunedin education, business, cultural and civic interactions within Shanghai, a city of some 26 million people, and, increasingly, with other Chinese cities, such as Qingyuan, Wuxi and Qingdao.

Project China Activity highlights: November 2018 to July 2019

The aim of Project China is to identify two way trade and investment opportunities (including for talent and education) between Dunedin and Shanghai, including assessing the extent to which our connections with political and Shanghai city ownership interests can benefit Dunedin businesses.

Project China fits with Dunedin City Council’s Economic Development Strategy recognition that ‘linkages beyond our borders’ can unlock significant economic development opportunities for the city.

Growing our relationship with China

Mayoral delegations representing Dunedin in China result in tangible benefits for our city. It is during these visits that memorandums of understanding are initiated and confirmed, and where opportunities are created in areas such as tertiary research, incoming international students, fashion and film industry connections, along with business and tourism contacts and networks.

Return delegations, such as that led by Shanghai Deputy-Mayor, Xu Zezhou, in December 2019, show that the city’s leaders value the strong friendship Dunedin has built with them and that they wish to build on our established civic and educational ties, and growing business ties.

Project China partners

Dunedin City Council, University of Otago, Otago Polytechnic, Otago Chamber of Commerce, and Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu, plus other Dunedin stakeholders working alongside them.

How Project China benefits Dunedin

Education: Chinese students and teachers contributed nearly $1.6 million to Dunedin’s economy in 2018/19 through short-term study tours and education programmes, and longer-term study. Several Dunedin-China sister-school relationships have enabled increasing numbers of Chinese students to study in the city, as well as facilitating teacher exchanges, training opportunities and student exchanges.

Academic Research: The University of Otago has established close collaborative projects with several eminent Chinese universities particularly in areas of mutual interest, such as health and food science. Otago Polytechnic has established regular fashion-related projects with the Shanghai University of Engineering Science.

Film: China is the second largest producer of film content in the world. Dunedin has a growing reputation as a film-making destination due to our diverse mix of scenic locations, skilled and talented people, and the ease of locating and working here. A script writer exchange has been established with a view to initiating projects creating work for the respective film industries. A repeated New Zealand film festival in Shanghai featured Otago-made films.

Culture: Exhibition exchanges promote awareness of each other’s cultures and offer promotional opportunities for our region. For example, two Dunedin Lan Yuan Photo Shows (2013 and 2018) at Shanghai’s Yu Garden placed images of our city centre stage in one of Shanghai’s most popular tourist sites.

Business: Otago businesses with an established presence in China, and those seeking to enter its markets, are provided with assurance, advice, transaction support, planning and identification of opportunities. Potential is particularly seen in weightless product such as IT, education, research, film, design.

Tourism: China is one of Dunedin’s largest visitor markets. Enterprise Dunedin works both alongside Tourism New Zealand to train and host travel agents from Mainland China and Taiwan.

Enterprise Dunedin’s role

As the Dunedin City Council’s economic development unit, Enterprise Dunedin’s role within Project China role is to provide:

  • local government credibility
  • planning and identification of opportunities
  • assurance
  • transaction support.

If your Dunedin business or organisation is considering entering or extending its operation into China’s markets, Enterprise Dunedin’s economic development staff may be able to assist with information and advice.


Hui Zhang

China Project Coordinator

+64 (3) 471 8838


Fraser Liggett

Economic Development Programme Manager

+64 (3) 474 3332