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Prime Minister To Visit China For FTA Deal Signing

Prime Minister To Visit China For FTA Deal Signing

Prime Minister Helen Clark will lead a large New Zealand delegation to China’s capital Beijing next month for events associated with the signing of the New Zealand-China Free Trade Agreement (FTA).

Trade Minister Phil Goff and Education and Ethnic Affairs Minister Chris Carter will also be part of the delegation.

Helen Clark said that she will attend the signing of the FTA on 7 April with her counterpart, China’s Premier Wen Jiabao. The documents will be signed by ministers at a formal ceremony at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing.

“This is a significant event for both New Zealand and China. As is well known, New Zealand will be the first developed country to sign a comprehensive FTA with China,” Helen Clark said.

“The FTA is New Zealand’s largest bilateral trade agreement since the Closer Economic Relations (CER) agreement was signed with Australia in 1983.

“It will give New Zealand exporters increased access to the world’s fastest growing economy. China is already our third largest trading partner and a fast growing export market for us.

“The negotiations for the FTA have taken more than three years. Throughout this period officials have consulted extensively with New Zealand stakeholders.

“The text and detail of the FTA will be released publicly after the official signing ceremony. The documents will also be tabled in Parliament immediately for scrutiny by the Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Committee. After the committee reports, legislation enabling the FTA to be ratified will be tabled in Parliament.

“Around 150 representatives of New Zealand businesses will travel to China for the signing, along with local government representatives.

”The occasion of the signing of the FTA is an opportunity to showcase New Zealand to the Chinese government and business community, and to a wider Chinese audience,” Helen Clark said.


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