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China, New Zealand to open free trade talks
Updated: 2004-04-15 10:09

Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao said in Beijing Wednesday that New Zealand's recognition of China's market economy status is the objective recognition of China's tremendous achievements in reform and opening-up.

The Chinese government highly appreciates New Zealand's efforts to push forward bilateral economic and trade ties, Wen said.

"China has established a socialism market economy system after over two decades of reform and opening-up which have brought about huge achievements," he said.

An upcoming feasibility study and talks on a China-New Zealand free trade agreement will push bilateral economic and trade cooperation to a new stage, the premier said.

According to a trade and economic cooperation framework agreement reached by the two sides, New Zealand will officially recognize that China has established a market economy system.

The two countries will start the feasibility study on a free trade agreement and initiate related talks as soon as possible, according to the framework document.

The framework agreement, which will be signed and effective after ratification, also includes detailed cooperation measures in potential sectors, sources said.

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