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Consultation on Chinese trade to start

Media Statement
21 June 2004

Consultation On Chinese Trade To Start

The Government is seeking submissions from the public on the negotiation of a free trade agreement with China, Trade Negotiations Minister Jim Sutton said today.

Mr Sutton said the consultation process was an opportunity for anyone with an interest in trade with China to have their say.

"The information gathered will help shape New Zealand's position in negotiations with China and help us maximise the benefits of an FTA for New Zealanders."

The call for submissions now underway is part of a wider public consultation process that will take place from July. This will include discussions with a wide range of interested groups including business organisations, iwi and unions.

Information gained from the consultation will contribute to a New Zealand-China joint feasibility study into an FTA, to be carried out later this year. Both Governments hope to begin work negotiating an FTA early in 2005.

A public consultation document providing background to FTA issues and an on-line submission form are available on the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade website, www.mfat.govt.nz. There is also a questionnaire on non-tariff barriers to trade with China.

Submissions are due in by 1 September.

The FTA consultation process follows on from the signing of the New Zealand-China Trade and Economic Cooperation Framework in Auckland last month. This laid the foundations for the future economic and trade cooperation between the two countries.


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