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The Free Trade Agreement with China has supported a dramatic increase in trade with China during its first two years, says Trade Minister Tim Groser.

“Since it has been in force, total trade between New Zealand and China increased by more than a third, from $8.5 billion to $11.1 billion”, Groser said.

“New Zealand’s exports to China, now worth $4.5 billion, have almost doubled in the past two years, with growth in all major export sectors. This has sheltered New Zealand from the worst effects of the global recession.

“We now trade with China in 6 hours the same value as we traded in a whole year in 1972, when diplomatic relations were established with China. China’s booming economy now plays a central role in New Zealand’s economic future”, said Groser. “The FTA has opened the door for more of our companies to reach into China, and put China firmly in their focus”.

A joint review was conducted late last year to examine how the FTA, which entered into force October 2008, has served both New Zealand and China in its first two years.

The Review showed that China continues to generate interest and excitement from New Zealand businesses, with the majority of them viewing the FTA in positive terms.

The two governments will continue working together to improve trading conditions in areas identified as important by business, such as Customs Procedures.

Prime Minister John Key and China’s Premier Wen Jiabao last year set a goal of doubling trade by 2015. “The FTA provides us with a sound platform from which to reach this goal”, Groser said. – Source: Beehive press release

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