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PM welcomes Chinese President Hu Jintao

PM welcomes Chinese President Hu Jintao

Prime Minister Helen Clark today announced that the President of China, Mr Hu Jintao, would visit New Zealand at Labour Weekend.

The three-day visit will take in Auckland, Wellington and Hamilton, and will enable President Hu to see first-hand some of the drivers of innovation in the New Zealand economy, particularly in the biotech and agritech sectors.

“President Hu leads a new generation of Chinese leaders and I am delighted that he is visiting New Zealand so soon after assuming office,” Helen Clark said.

“In addition to our strong bilateral relationship, New Zealand values opportunities to work with China as a key partner in the Asia Pacific region and internationally. Only this week I have met the President at the APEC Leaders’ summit in Bangkok.

“Links between New Zealand and China are growing rapidly. Last year 30,000 Chinese students studied in New Zealand, and 76,000 Chinese tourists visited, double the number which came in 2000.

“I am looking forward to welcoming President Hu to New Zealand and to showing him our country.

“Our talks in Auckland will provide us with the opportunity to review our bilateral relationship and map out a clear path for further development of our links with China and the Chinese people.

“China is the world’s sixth largest economy and its entry into the WTO was supported by New Zealand from an early stage, resulting in improved access for our goods there.”

China has traditionally been New Zealand’s largest export market for wool but in recent years our exports have diversified to other areas - dairy products and timber are now significant, as are services.

China is New Zealand’s fourth largest trade partner - with total trade of over $4 billion this year – and our fourth largest export market.

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