China and New Zealand have reaffirmed bilateral ties during Governor-General Jerry Mateparae’s visit to Beijing. Following a ceremonial welcome in Beijing on Tuesday, Mateparae met with President Xi Jinping.
The leaders discussed a range of issues, including economic development, the threat of cross-border crimes and climate change.
The two countries aim to expand bilateral trade to 30 billion New Zealand dollars ($20 billion) by 2020.
In 2013, China overtook Australia as New Zealand’s biggest trading partner and is also now its top export market, with nearly 25 percent of New Zealand’s exports making their way into China.
Mateparae’s visit coincides with a domestic economic downturn in New Zealand, as global dairy prices have plunged to a six-year-low. The price of skimmed milk powder has, in fact, slumped by almost half, according to Global Dairy Trade.
New Zealand, which is the world’s largest dairy exporter, used to export about 50 percent of its dairy products to China. But since last year, Chinese demand has also dropped by 45 percent.
Local farmers there are, however, hopeful that deepening ties with China can help revive their fortunes.