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New Zealand-China FTA negotiations: joint statemen

New Zealand-China FTA negotiations: joint statement

The President of the People’s Republic of China Hu Jintao and Prime Minister of New Zealand Helen Clark today announced that China and New Zealand will commence negotiations on a Free Trade Agreement as soon as possible.

The announcement came after the two leaders released a joint study on the feasibility of a New Zealand – China FTA. The study concluded that, given the complementarities between China and New Zealand, an FTA was feasible and that it would benefit the people and economies of both countries. The likely net benefits of an FTA has been confirmed by the economic modelling work undertaken during the course of the study.

The study follows the signing of a Trade and Economic Cooperation Framework between China and New Zealand in May this year. In the Framework New Zealand became the first developed country in the world to recognise China as a market economy.

While the study demonstrated that an FTA would benefit both countries, it also identifies concerns about possible adjustment implications for some producers, and recommends that these impacts be taken into account in negotiations.

In releasing the study and announcing the negotiations on an FTA to start as soon as possible, President Hu and Prime Minister Clark stressed the importance of the FTA advancing APEC goals, being consistent with WTO rules, and reinforcing the two Governments’ commitment to sustainable development.

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