Agreements to boost bilateral relations

Updated: 2013-04-11 00:56

By DING QINGFEN (China Daily)

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China and New Zealand will drive the growth of their business ties through new energy, agriculture, finance and high technology.

"China is pushing forward the transformation of its economic growth model, breaking the bottleneck in resources and environment, and aiming to launch an updated version of the Chinese economy," Premier Li Keqiang said during his meeting with New Zealand Prime Minister John Key in Beijing on Wednesday.

Six agreements were signed by the countries.

Li emphasized that measures to transform and upgrade the Chinese economy will be done in an open way.

"The two countries are in good economic condition, and there is immense room to enhance cooperation in cutting energy emissions and boosting clean energy, as New Zealand is very strong in developing green economy," Li said.

Two-way trade reached NZ$14.2 billion ($12.14 billion) in 2012.

Strong China-New Zealand relations are critical to New Zealand, and "we are committed to strengthening cooperation in agriculture and animal husbandry, finance, food safety, investment and education", Li said.

Key recently led a delegation to China to promote economic and trade relations.

China and New Zealand signed a free trade agreement in April 2008 that came into force in October that year. It was the first FTA that China signed with a developed economy.

The FTA has stimulated trade, particularly New Zealand exports to China, which surged to NZ$6.9 billion in 2012, up 16.6 percent from a year earlier.

China's shipments to New Zealand rose 3.89 percent year-on-year to NZ$7.3 billion.

China has become the second-largest destination for New Zealand's exports, after Australia.

President Xi Jinping and Key recently agreed to boost two-way trade to NZ$20 billion by the end of 2015 by further implementing and leveraging the FTA.

Li said the two countries should start direct trade in the yuan and New Zealand dollar, which would enhance cooperation in food processing and preservation.

New Zealand announced on Wednesday that independent Chinese visitors to New Zealand can apply for longer stays — from 12 months to 24 months — to better meet the demand of the Chinese market, the most rapidly growing tourism market for New Zealand and the second-largest source of visitors.

New Zealand statistics showed that more than 200,000 Chinese visitors traveled there in the past year, up 38 percent from the previous year. They spent around $555 million.

Ties: Growth in economy brings more opportunities

The New Zealand Overseas Investment Office said on Wednesday that it had approved applications from Chinese dairy firms Yashili New Zealand Dairy and Inner Mongolia Yili Industrial Group to buy land to build the two formula processing plants, valued at more than NZ$200 million ($168.43 million) each. The green light paves the way for Chinese companies to expand into the world's largest dairy exporting country.

"China's increasing domestic consumption means opportunities for New Zealand businesses," Huo said.

Xi said during his keynote speech at the recent Boao Forum for Asia Annual Conference 2013 that the growing Chinese economy generates business opportunities for Asia and the world, and China's economic growth could be sustained as the nation expands domestic consumption and enhances its presence abroad.

Telecom New Zealand said this week that China's Huawei Technologies, the world's second-largest telecom equipment maker, has won a contract to build the 4G mobile network infrastructure for the biggest telecom company in New Zealand.