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Business Roundtable Welcomes China FTA

Business Roundtable Welcomes China FTA

“The free trade agreement with China is a major achievement and the government and its officials are to be congratulated on their success in bringing it about”, Rob McLeod, chairman of the New Zealand Business Roundtable, said today.

“Coming 25 years after the Closer Economic Relations agreement with Australia, it marks the progress New Zealand has made from an inward-looking economy to a free and open one.”

Mr McLeod said that New Zealand consumers and exporters of goods and services would benefit from free trade with one of the world’s largest and fastest-growing economies. Business and investment links would also be strengthened. The task of adjusting to additional competition from China was quite manageable provided economic flexibility was maintained.

“Initial indications are that the agreement is comprehensive and largely free of the restrictions and exclusions of some FTAs. It suggests China could well be a force for multilateral trade liberalisation in the decades ahead.

“The private sector should move to capitalise on the new opportunities and the government should help it by taking steps to increase the economy’s international competitiveness and adopting consistent outward-looking policies”, Mr McLeod concluded.

_7 April 2008

ENDS

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