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Fonterra Welcomes Free Trade Agreement with China

Media Release
7 April 2008

Fonterra Welcomes Free Trade Agreement with China

Fonterra today welcomed the signing of the free trade agreement between New Zealand and China.

Fonterra Chairman Henry van der Heyden said China was rapidly becoming a global powerhouse and it made sense for New Zealand to develop closer ties with one of the world’s fastest growing economies.

“China is a major player in the future global economy, and part of that influence will extend to New Zealand’s economic well-being. Taking steps now to establish closer trading ties is a positive move for New Zealand’s economic future.”

“For New Zealand to be the first developed country to sign such an agreement is a significant achievement, and will stand us in good stead as we further develop our relationship with China.”

Mr van der Heyden said China’s further integration into the Asian and global economies, and its enormous and fast-growing domestic market, were key planks behind Fonterra’s investments in China.

“China’s economic dynamism will have positive long-term flow-through effects for New Zealand.”

Mr van der Heyden said Fonterra had not yet seen the text of the agreement and would need to review the detail closely before quantifying the benefits for dairy. But he welcomed the news that the agreement will lead to the elimination of all tariffs on dairy between China and New Zealand.

“From what we have seen it is clear that this deal will be good for Fonterra and for the New Zealand dairy industry. It will significantly improve access for New Zealand exporters, provide certainty in our trading environment going forward, and support Fonterra’s strategy in China.”

ENDS

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