New Zealand, China to sign free trade agreement in April

February 26th, 2008 - 11:20 am ICT by admin  

Wellington, Feb 26 (Xinhua) New Zealand and China plan to sign a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) in early April, New Zealand Trade Minister Phil Goff announced Tuesday. “Being the first developed country to negotiate a comprehensive FTA with China will present New Zealand with a unique platform for profiling our businesses in China and for strengthening commercial relationships,” he said in a press release.

“Finalising this FTA will be a significant achievement for New Zealand. We must make sure we take full advantage of the opportunities it will open up in China,” he added.

“Planning is now underway for a programme of activities, beginning with a New Zealand business delegation, centred around the signing ceremony and FTA-related events, planned to take place in Beijing April 6-9,” Goff said.

On Monday, Prime Minister Helen Clark told a press conference that she would travel to Beijing in April for the signing ceremony.

The FTA with China will be the largest for New Zealand since the Closer Economic Agreement with Australia was signed in 1983. Clark said it would be the first time China has entered into a trade agreement with a developed country.

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