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Chinese Premier to visit

Rt Hon Helen Clark
Prime Minister of New Zealand

3 April 2006 Media Statement

Chinese Premier to visit

Prime Minister Helen Clark announced today that the Premier of the People’s Republic of China, Wen Jiabao, will visit New Zealand from 5 to 7 April.

"Premier Wen’s visit is a recognition of the growing momentum in New Zealand's broad and important relationship with China,“ Helen Clark said.

“This is a constructive, increasingly comprehensive relationship and I look forward to discussions on how it can be further enhanced.

“In addition to regular government to government dialogue, there is much activity in the fields of business, science and technology, and cultural exchanges.

“I look forward to discussing progress on the New Zealand-China Free Trade Agreement, and the mutual benefits a high-quality, comprehensive FTA will bring.

“I last met Premier Wen Jiabao at the inaugural East Asia Summit in Kuala Lumpur in December. I look forward to resuming the discussions we had there on regional and other issues,” Helen Clark said.

The visit builds on other recent high-level visits by China’s top leaders, such as those of the President, Hu Jintao, who visited New Zealand in October 2003 and the Chairman of the National People’s Congress, Wu Bangguo, who came here in May 2005. Helen Clark last visited China in May 2005.

China is New Zealand’s fourth-largest individual trading partner, accounting for over $5.6 billion in two-way trade. Exports to China account for almost 5.5% of New Zealand’s total exports, a significant increase from 3% in 1999.


ENDS

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