Trade Association Advocates China-NZ Alliance
29 August, 2003 NEWS
N.Z.China Trade Assn
Trade Association Advocates China-New Zealand Alliance
A closer strategic alliance between China and New Zealand to break down barriers to world trade in agricultural products would be of benefit to both countries, says the Chairman of the New Zealand-China Trade Association, Victor Percival.
A veteran China trader, Mr Percival said today that a prospective visit by Chinese President Hu Jintao to New Zealand in October offered an opportunity to lift an already close bilateral relationship to new levels.
“On a commercial level China is our fourth largest trading partner and at a political level New Zealand was strongly supportive of China’s successful bid for World Trade Organisation membership.
“It makes good economic sense for New Zealand and China now to work together within the WTO for improved terms of access for agricultural products to European and American markets. This would fit with China’s championing of better third world country access to developed markets and with New Zealand’s efforts in conjunction with the Cairns Group to free up world trade in farm commodities. There is a convergence of mutual interest that can be followed through at a strategic level.
“Our association also believes the time is right for a bi-lateral free trade arrangement between the two countries. This would assist China’s developing trade patterns and its search for agricultural expertise. It would also encourage New Zealand traders to grow further their relationships with China’s business people.
“The trading relationship is now a mature one and ready for the introduction of a programme that leads to an elimination of existing trade restrictions. The potential is unlimited.
“It is an honour that New Zealand has been chosen by Mr Hu as a destination for one of his first overseas visits. Our political and economic relationship with China is most important and he can be assured of a warm welcome in seeking to further develop the ties between our two countries for mutual benefit.”