Thursday, May 23, 2024

China trade talks ‘productive’ says Minister

Trade, Agriculture and Forestry Minister, Todd McClay says he has concluded productive discussions with ministerial counterparts in Beijing, in support of the New Zealand-China trade and economic relationship.

“My meeting with Commerce Minister Wang Wentao reaffirmed the complementary nature of the bilateral trade relationship, with our Free Trade Agreement at its core,” Mr McClay says.

“We discussed progress made on implementation of the 2022 FTA Upgrade provisions, and areas of bilateral cooperation including in support of business environment reforms in China and intellectual property rights protection.”

The Minister said regional and multilateral trade developments were also discussed, following on a previous meeting on the margins of the WTO Ministerial Conference in Abu Dhabi. 

“I reaffirmed that China’s requests to join the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) and the Digital Economy Partnership Agreement (DEPA) are for members to consider collectively, and that consensus will guide these discussions,” he said.

Mr McClay also met with Minister for Agriculture and Rural Affairs, Tang Renjian.

“New Zealand and China have a long-standing and close agricultural relationship,” Mr McClay says. 

“I welcomed the opportunity to meet Minister Tang to discuss our cooperation programmes, and to underline my commitment to strengthening the collaborative programme of work between our countries’ agricultural sectors.”

Mr McClay’s meeting with the Administrator of the National Forestry and Grassland Administration, Guan Zhi’ou was an opportunity to advance the bilateral forestry relationship, including areas of cooperation under our refreshed bilateral forestry cooperation arrangement. 

“China is the top export market for New Zealand forest products, and New Zealand remains a strong supplier of softwood logs and wood products for the Chinese market,” says Mr McClay.

“Growing our trade relationships and exports will boost New Zealand’s economy, and it is only through a strong economy we can lift incomes, reduce the cost of living and afford the public services Kiwis deserve.”

Mr McClay now travels to Harbin and Shanghai. While in Harbin, Mr McClay will meet with the Governor of Heilongjiang Province and Chinese partners in the agriculture sector. The programme in Shanghai will include engagements with New Zealand businesses in-market, including small and medium enterprises in the food and beverage, health and nutrition, services, and manufacturing sectors. Mr McClay will also meet with the Mayor of Shanghai, Gong Zheng. 

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