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New Zealand minister to visit China for trade, climate change talks

(Xinhua)

16:31, August 08, 2011

New Zealand Trade Minister Tim Groser is to visit China to discuss trade and climate change issues, after visiting Indonesia where he arrives Tuesday.

Groser will meet with Chinese ministers, officials and opinion leaders in Beijing to discuss trade and economic matters, including Asian economic regional integration and the implementation of the China-New Zealand Free Trade Agreement (FTA).

"Since the China-NZ FTA came into effect in 2008, New Zealand exports to China have increased 144 percent, which makes China New Zealand's second largest export market," said Groser.

"Total bilateral trade is 12.8 billion NZ dollars (10.63 billion U.S. dollars) in the year to June 2011 and we're firmly on track to meet our goal of doubling trade from 10 billion NZ dollars to 20 billion NZ dollars by July 2015," he said.

Groser also plans to discuss climate change with China ahead of the Durban, South Africa meeting in November this year, which will include the 17th Conference of the Framework Convention and the 7th Conference of the Kyoto Protocol.

Following Beijing, Groser will travel to Hangzhou, where he will lead an information and communications technology trade mission to explore opportunities in China's rapidly growing ICT market.

The China visit will follow Groser's visit to Indonedia, where he will attend the annual meeting of Economic Ministers involving Trade Ministers from the 10 member countries of the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN), plus Australia, China, India, Japan and South Korea and New Zealand.

"Asia is becoming increasingly more important to New Zealand and these talks are aimed at making it easier, more profitable and more predictable for our companies to do business," Groser said.

He said he would pursue closer regional economic integration under initiatives such as the ASEAN-Australia-New Zealand Free Trade Agreement, the Comprehensive Economic Partnership in East Asia and the ASEAN-CER Integration Partnership Forum.

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