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China Visit Further Cements Ties w Dynamic Nation

Hon Phil Goff
Minister of Trade

14 November 2006
Media statement

China Visit Further Cements Ties With Dynamic Nation

Trade and Defence Minister Phil Goff ended his official visit to China today and described it as positive for the growing trade and defence relationship between the two nations.

“This is an exciting time in the relationship between New Zealand and China with the two way goods trade between the two countries growing well, up more than 17% since last year and defence, tourism and cultural links being developed and strengthened”, said Mr Goff.

“The first leg of this visit was focused around the activities of the New Zealand trade delegation I led to Shanghai, where links were established at both national and individual levels. Business people travelling with the delegation have been extremely positive about the value they have derived from being part of this delegation and the opportunities for further engagement.

“Beijing was the setting for a series of meetings with senior Chinese officials including Vice Premier Hui Liangyu, Minister of National Defence General Cao Gangchuan, Minister of Agriculture Du Qinglin and Minister of Commerce Bo Xilai.

"Much of the discussion focused on our goal of a free trade agreement. I presented the Vice Premier, Minister Bo and Minister Du with copies of a Rabobank report which contains an analysis of the likely impact of increased New Zealand dairy imports on the Chinese dairy industry. This clearly shows that New Zealand presents no threat to the developing Chinese dairy industry.

"The Vice Premier was very receptive to the report and said publicly through the Xinhua News Agency that 'China and New Zealand should work together to push the FTA negotiation'.

"The next formal engagement will be between Premier Wen Jiabao and Prime Minister Helen Clark in December at the East Asia Summit, prior to the next round of the talks in January.

"A successful free trade agreement will clearly help New Zealand exporters by removing barriers to trade with the world's fastest growing economy. However it will be up to initiatives taken by the private sector, drawing where appropriate on assistance from New Zealand Trade and Enterprise, which will determine what benefit we draw from the opportunities presented by this dynamic market", Mr Goff said.


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