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China and NZ set ambitious new trade goals

China and NZ set ambitious new trade goals

Prime Minister John Key and Chinese President Xi Jinping have set an ambitious new goal for two-way trade of $30 billion by 2020.

In a meeting at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, they also agreed to modernise the current Free Trade Agreement between the two countries.

“This relationship has never been stronger,” says Mr Key. “We have great confidence that the coming years will see trade between us increase at a very fast pace.”

This was the Prime Minister’s second meeting with President Xi in China in the last 12 months and their third formal meeting over the same period. The consistency of high level contact reflects the very strong state of the New Zealand-China relationship.

There has been a doubling in the value of two-way goods trade with China since 2008, and a trebling in exports, There has been a doubling in the number of visitor arrivals from China and new airline links.

“To support what we see as the ever increasing importance of the China market and its growth potential, we intend to invest heavily in resourcing the region appropriately”, says Mr Key.

The new resources will include an increase in personnel working on the China relationship, including;

MFAT will establish seven new positions to further the political and economic relationship. They will also engage a Public Affairs Manager and Advisor, both in Beijing
The Ministry of Primary Industries (MPI) will add nine positions

“We are also in the final stages of approving a further boost involving other government agencies, some of which is subject to the Budget process. I will have more to say about this closer to the Budget.

“These additions reflect the widespread commitment within New Zealand’s public sector to the New Zealand-China relationship.

“Our new goal of reaching $30 billion in two way trade by 2020 must be supported by people and resources. I am committed to making this happen.”

In the meeting with President Xi Mr Key also said New Zealand was investing in future growth in the relationship by building a new Chancery.

“The current Chancery has served us well since 1973, but it is now time for it to reflect the status and importance of New Zealand’s relationship with China.

“The increased New Zealand footprint in Beijing will mean that the Government will support a greater range of New Zealand activities in China, including in education, science and research and the primary industries,” says Mr Key.

Prime Minister Key and President Xi also discussed new initiatives for increased cooperation in agriculture and food safety, including scholarships.

Prime Minister Key emphasised to President Xi New Zealand’s commitment to providing safe, high quality food to China.

“The outcomes of the Government Inquiry into the Whey Protein Contamination Incident have confirmed the New Zealand food safety system is of international best standard,” says Mr Key.

Prime Minister Key and President Xi also discussed key priorities and challenges in the regional and international environment.


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