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FTA with China celebrated in New Zealand Parliament
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20:46, April 15, 2008

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New Zealand's Free Trade Agreement with China, signed in Beijing last week, was celebrated at a reception in New Zealand's Parliament Building on Tuesday evening.

Prime Minister Helen Clark hosted the event, telling some 400 guests the signing of the agreement was a milestone in bilateral ties and was a win for both countries.

Clark said after the agreement had been ratified by Parliament, the next step was to take advantage of it.

She said the two governments have kept the door open, the New Zealand business, private sector and public sector should take advantage of the FTA and expend their market in China.

"The signs are good," she said. "There was a record turnout of New Zealand companies and business organizations in Beijing last week."

A 190-member New Zealand trade delegation, the largest in New Zealand history, accompanied Clark to Beijing to attend the signing ceremony on April 7.

Clark said New Zealand was the first developed country to sign a bilateral agreement with China on China's WTO accession, the first developed country to recognize China's full market economy status and the first developed country to launch free trade talks with China. With the signing of the free trade agreement, New Zealand also became the first developed nation to sign a such deal with China.

Clark said, although New Zealand and China are very different, the two countries can become model of sound cooperation. The signing of the FTA demonstrate that New Zealand can have effective cooperation with a major economic power, and China has the capability to conduct high quality free trade talks with a developed nation.

New Zealand Trade Minister Phil Goff told Xinhua that the free trade will not only reduce tariffs but will also help raise New Zealand's profile in China.

Source: Xinhua

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