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Putting the FTA into action

Putting the FTA into action – Goff leads businesses to one of China’s fastest growing regions

Trade Minister Phil Goff is to lead a trade mission to Hangzhou city today, as part of the Government’s drive to promote New Zealand’s image in China.

“The signing of the Free Trade Agreement has opened the door for New Zealand businesses to grow in China – our fourth largest market, and gives them a head start on their competitors. Now we have to capitalise on it,” Mr Goff said.

“New Zealand is becoming a more familiar name in Hangzhou and the wider Zhejiang province, an area of 50 million people and containing China’s largest concentration of private sector companies.

“The trade mission I am leading to Hangzhou today aims to take advantage of the huge publicity New Zealand has received in China over the past few days. I will hold talks with Zhejiang Province’s senior official, Party Secretary Zhao Hongzhu, and meet some of Zhejiang’s leading companies – including Hangzhou Wahaha, a beverage giant and major importer of our diary products, and Zhejiang Material Group, China’s 35th largest company.

“Accompanying me on the mission will be Fonterra, Air New Zealand, Auckland University, Glidepath, Glacier Investments, Mahon China, Richina
Group, and Environmental Decontamination Ltd,” Mr Goff said.

“Our aim is to make this economic powerhouse a key destination for more of our exports and services in the future. This has been given a huge boost by the signing of the FTA, which will see tariffs cut in a staged process so that by 2010, 96 per cent of all our goods into China will be tariff-free. We have a head start on other countries and we must make the most of it.

“We have a number of promising trade prospects in this region, including for our dairy and wood exporters and as a source of tourists and students to New Zealand.

“Zhejiang is part of the Yangtze Delta region, the source of a quarter of all China’s tourists to New Zealand and accounting for 10 per cent of New Zealand’s total trade with china. The province’s economy grew by 14 per cent in 2007, and the private sector contributes 70 per cent of its GDP,” Mr Goff said.


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