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Visit of Chinese Minister for Civil Aviation

Mr Liu Jianfeng, Minister for the Civil Aviation Administration of China, will be visiting New Zealand from 13-18 February, announced Hon Mark Gosche, Minister of Transport.

“Minister Liu’s visit will be an excellent opportunity for discussions to further our important aviation relationship. It follows on from the successful State visit by President Jiang Zemin last September,” said Mr Gosche. “Our overall bilateral relationship with China is of fundamental importance to the Government.”

Minister Liu is the first Chinese Minister to visit New Zealand since President Jiang.

“Although direct scheduled air services between New Zealand and China have not yet commenced, developing the aviation relationship with China is a high priority for the Government,” said Mr Gosche.

“Greater flexibility in our air services arrangements would be more conducive to the operation of direct air services between New Zealand and China. We would like to see this addressed at future bilateral air services negotiations,” said Mr Gosche.

For the year ending 31 December 1999, over 26,000 people from China visited New Zealand, up 42% on the previous twelve-month period. China’s naming of New Zealand as an approved tourism destination means that there is potential for further sustained growth. This would be aided were direct air services to commence between the two countries.

As well as meetings with Mr Gosche and transport and tourism officials, Minister Liu will be calling on key players in the aviation industry, including the Civil Aviation Authority, Airways Corporation, Met Service, Air New Zealand and the three main international airport companies. He will be visiting Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch during his five-day stay.

Minister Liu is in New Zealand at the invitation of the Minister of Transport and is a guest of the New Zealand Government.

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