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Trade Breakthrough In China

New Zealand's biggest wool export market is again open for business, Prime Minister Jenny Shipley said today.

Mrs Shipley met Premier Zhu Rongji in Beijing on Sunday evening - the first official engagement of her visit to China, Korea and Japan.

"Premier Zhu Rongji of China has informed me that China has now resolved administrative problems in its system for allocating tariff quotas for wool.

"These delays saw our sales in this $200 million wool export market drop by $80 million in the year to May.

"New tariff quotas have now been issued to provincial buyers and this should see wool imports from New Zealand increase in the second half of this year.

"This is good news for our farmers at a time when they have been hard hit by low commodity prices elsewhere.

"Premier Zhu was personally involved in the WTO accession agreement New Zealand reached with China in 1997 that included increased quota for New Zealand wool. I am therefore, very pleased to have his assurance as Premier of China that he too wants to see normal wool trade resume," said Mrs Shipley.


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