Business / Economy

FTA upgrade on agenda in New Zealand PM's visit to China

(Xinhua) Updated: 2016-04-11 13:42

WELLINGTON - New Zealand Prime Minister John Key said Monday he will lead a high-level business delegation to China next week and look to upgrade the bilateral free trade agreement.

The delegation would visit Beijing, where Key would hold meetings with Chinese leaders, as well as Xi'an and Shanghai, during the April 17-22 visit.

"Along with a broad range of topics, I look forward to continuing discussions with them on an upgrade of the China New Zealand Free Trade Agreement (FTA), signed eight years ago this month," Key said.

"Since this time, two-way trade between New Zealand and China has more than doubled, reaching almost NZ$19 billion ($12.96 billion). An FTA upgrade would allow us to modernise the agreement and ensure it continues to drive our relationship forward."

China was a key destination for our goods exports and an important consumer of New Zealand services, Key said.

"The visit provides an opportunity to strengthen our relationship and showcase New Zealand's creativity, innovation, and high-tech credentials," he said.

In Beijing, Key would also address students at the prestigious Tsinghua University and meet with senior Chinese business leaders.

Key will hold official meetings with senior provincial and city leaders in the major centers of Xi'an and Shanghai.

In his first visit to Xi'an, capital of western China's Shannxi province, he would support New Zealand business and cultural links with Xi'an, and visit the city's international trade and logistics hub, part of China's Belt and Road Initiative.

Key would also help to promote New Zealand's creative industries by attending the launch of the New Zealand Film Festival in Shanghai.

Key would be accompanied by Trade Minister Todd McClay and Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy.

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