On April 20, 2016, New Zealand Prime Minister John Key met with Chinese President Xi Jinping in China, to discuss the positive progress made in the relationship between the two counties since entering into a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership, in 2014.
“New Zealand’s relationship with China is broader and deeper than ever before,” said Mr Key. “It was great to see President Xi again, to take stock of what we have achieved and to discuss further opportunities for collaboration.”
Mr Key and President Xi held positive discussions on the intention to upgrade the New Zealand - China Free Trade Agreement (FTA).
“The NZ-China FTA has been a real success for both our countries,” said Mr Key. “China is now our second-largest trading partner, with two-way trade more than doubling since the agreement came into force.”
“Premier Li and I discussed our intention to upgrade the FTA, to reflect the growth in trade between our two countries and to ensure it continues to drive our relationship forward.”
The pair also discussed the importance of continuing to cooperate across the board, including in science and innovation, UN Security Council issues and tourism.
“We talked about the growing law enforcement and legal cooperation between our two countries, and agreed to foster increased communication on international legal issues between our two foreign ministries.”
Following their talks, Premiers Li and Key witnessed the signing of a number of arrangements, reflecting the significant engagement between New Zealand and China.
These included arrangements on:
- Developing an Agricultural Growth Partnership that will underpin agricultural cooperation programmes across a range of technical areas
- Promoting Trade and Investment between the New Zealand Export Credit Office and the Export-Import Bank of China which will promote greater cooperation and export credit financing
- Chinese recognition of New Zealand halal standards for New Zealand exports
- Implementation of the Strategic Research Alliance Joint Projects which will facilitate the allocation of funds to ongoing and previously-agreed science projects.
While in China, Key further raised former Prime Minister Helen Clark’s bid for the role of UN Secretary-General.
“The UN needs strong leadership, given a number of global challenges it is facing. I explained to President Xi why New Zealand believes Helen Clark is the best person for the job.”
Source: Beehive.govt.nz, April 20, 2016