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New Zealand to sign free trade agreement with China in April

New Zealand to sign free trade agreement with China in April

New Zealand will sign a free trade agreement with China in early April, the government announced Tuesday _ the first such deal between the Asian economic powerhouse and a developed economy.
Trade Minister Phil Goff said outstanding technical requirements and processes to finalize the deal "are on track for completion" in coming weeks.
The signing ceremony and related events are "planned to take place in Beijing from 6 to 9 April," he said.
"This FTA has been negotiated with the overriding objective of opening up economic opportunities for New Zealand business in China and to boost commercial ties with our now third largest trading partner," he said.
Earlier, Goff predicted the trade deal potentially will boost New Zealand's exports of goods and services to China by up to 400 million New Zealand dollars (US$326 million; euro219 million) a year.
Two-way trade between the two states is worth more than 4.8 billion New Zealand dollars (US$3.9 billion; euro2.6 billion) a year, with Chinese exports making up about 80 percent.
Prime Minister Helen Clark said Monday the free trade agreement would cut tariff barriers for New Zealand farm exports to China. Farm output makes up half of New Zealand's annual economic production.
"China has very open access to our market now. The key breakthrough in this agreement with China will be us getting some reciprocity because we do face quite significant tariffs on key exports," she told reporters.
"There's no question in my mind that ... it is a very, very big move for the Kiwi economy _ very big and very beneficial," Clark said.
It would be the largest free trade agreement for New Zealand since it signed the closer economic relations agreement with Australia in 1982, she noted.


Updated : 2021-08-04 08:02 GMT+08:00