China, New Zealand to negotiate update to Free Trade Agreement next month

World Today

Trade topped the agenda during Chinese Premier Le Keqiang’s talks in New Zealand on Monday.  It was agreed that talks on upgrading a 2008 free trade agreement would begin next month.

CGTN’s Owen Poland reports  from Auckland.

China, New Zealand to negotiate update to Free Trade Agreement next month

Trade topped the agenda during Chinese Premier Le Keqiang's talks in New Zealand on Monday. It was agreed that talks on upgrading a 2008 free trade agreement would begin next month. CGTN's Owen Poland reports from Auckland.

Premier Li and his wife received a traditional Maori welcome in the ground of Government House. The welcome symbolized the strong cultural ties between China and New Zealand. Out on the streets of Wellington, Chinese residents were also making their voices heard.

The main business of the day was a bilateral meeting between trade, followed by a joint ministerial signing of new arrangements for economic and environmental co-operation.

The main announcement was the start of official negotiations next month on upgrading the Free Trade Agreement between the two countries.

“Our two-way trade has – since 2008 – nearly tripled to $23 billion, creating jobs and opportunities for people in both countries. The upgrade will allow us to modernize the FTA to take account of changes in our economic relationship since the FTA came into force,” Bill English, prime minister of New Zealand said.

Premier Li said the new agreement will send a positive signal to the world and the region that our two countries are committed to free trade.