New Zealand PM hails increased trade and ties with China
The video clip shows New Zealand Prime Minister Bill English talking on the radio. [video: Li Dayong/China Plus]
The New Zealand Prime Minister Bill English said talks with the visiting Chinese Premier Li Keqiang have been fruitful, particularly in the areas of trade and investment.
In a joint interview by China Radio International and NZC Media Group, English detailed the pair have been able to agree on some significant steps forward.
"As the result of negotiations, which the Premier says is the first upgrade of FTA, we will be able to get more of our products to China and we will get better rules applied to our products when they are sold in China. But it's still a negotiation. So we will be offering them to China as well."
Over the past three years, China has become New Zealand's largest export destination, trade partner and import source, with bilateral trade exceeding 20 billion New Zealand dollars or 14 billion US dollars last year, up nearly five percent year on year.
English said the booming Chinese economy provides major opportunities for New Zealand, and the two nations both benefit from the development of bilateral relations.
"We benefit considerably from the trade, from the investment and tourists and just in the last few days there's been further announcements about high quality and long term investment by China in both resources here but also in providing infrastructure for the tourists, hotels and forest product plants."
The New Zealand Prime Minister made the remarks as Chinese Premier Li Keqiang was about to wrap up his visit to New Zealand.
During the visit, the two countries signed a ground-breaking memorandum of understanding on the Belt and Road Initiative which aims to strengthen infrastructure connectivity across the South-Pacific region and create more opportunities for the exchange of goods and services.
The two leaders also vowed to deepen relations between the two countries for increased mutual benefit.