Business / Economy

China offering 'sound' outlook for New Zealand trade: finance minister

(Xinhua) Updated: 2016-02-25 11:31

WELLINGTON -- China is continuing to provide a sound trade outlook for New Zealand economic growth despite a slowing investment cycle, New Zealand Finance Minister Bill English said Thursday.

Economic events in China were a concern, "but the direct impact for New Zealand will depend on the changing composition of its economy," English said in a published speech to the Auckland Chamber of Commerce.

"Its investment cycle is waning, but China's household income and consumption are growing considerably faster than GDP, at 11 percent and 9 percent respectively."

The number of affluent and upper middle class Chinese households was expected to increase from 44 million in 2012 to 225 million in 2022, the minister said.

"This is a big opportunity for New Zealand, given our main exports like dairy, beef, lamb, wine, horticulture and tourism are typically targeted at the wealthier consumer market," said English.

"So while we can expect continued volatility in global markets, the New Zealand longer-term outlook is sound."

English, who is also Deputy Prime Minister, cited the New Zealand-China free trade agreement (FTA) as an example of how trade agreements, including the controversial Trans-Pacific Partnership, signed by New Zealand and 11 other nations this month, could benefit the New Zealand economy.

"Since the start of that agreement in 2008, trade between our two countries quickly doubled to NZ$20 billion ($13.31 billion) a year," said English.

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