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Key signs trade promotion deals in China but no FTA upgrade yet

The prime minister has yet to meet President Xi to seal revised FTA pact.

Nevil Gibson
Tue, 19 Apr 2016

Prime Minister John Key has met China's second-ranked leader, Premier Li Keqiang, at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing for talks that included the upgrade of the NZ-China Free Trade Agreement (FTA).

But in a statement released after the meeting, the FTA was missing from the list of other deals that were signed off.

Mr Key will meet President Xi Jinping today in Beijing and that may clinch the FTA.

“The NZ-China FTA has been a real success for both our countries,” Mr Key says in a statement. “China is now our second-largest trading partner, with two-way trade more than doubling since the agreement came into force.   

“Premier Li and I discussed our intention to upgrade the FTA, to reflect the growth in trade between our two countries and to ensure it continues to drive our relationship forward.  

“We also discussed the importance of continuing to cooperate across the board, including in science and innovation, UN Security Council issues and tourism.

“We talked about the growing law enforcement and legal cooperation between our two countries, and agreed to foster increased communication on international legal issues between our two foreign ministries."

Trade deals that were signed off included arrangements on:

  • developing an agricultural growth partnership that will underpin agricultural cooperation programmes across a range of technical areas;

  • promoting trade and investment between the New Zealand Export Credit Office and the Export-Import Bank of China;

  • Chinese recognition of New Zealand halal standards for New Zealand exports; and

  • Implementation of the Strategic Research Alliance Joint Projects. which will facilitate the allocation of funds to continuing and previously agreed science projects.

Left to right: Glen Murphy - Regional Director, Greater China, NZTE, Peter Chrisp - Chief Executive of NZTE, John Key - New Zealand Prime Minister, Jack Ma - Founder and Executive Chairman of Alibaba Group, Maggie Zhou - Managing Director of Australia and New Zealand, Alibaba Group, John O’Loghlen - Director of Business Development, Australia and New Zealand, Alibaba Group

Earlier, Mr Key witnessed the signing of a cooperation arrangement between New Zealand Trade and Enterprise (NZTE) and Chinese internet giant Alibaba, the world's largest online retailer.

“NZTE and Alibaba have agreed to work together to provide services aimed at helping New Zealand businesses maximise the opportunities on Alibaba’s online platform," Mr Key says.

“This is good news for New Zealand exporters looking to build their business through direct sales to Chinese citizens. Our relationship with China is increasingly broad-based and these arrangements will help ensure this continues."

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Nevil Gibson
Tue, 19 Apr 2016
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Key signs trade promotion deals in China but no FTA upgrade yet