New Zealand trade minister: China-NZ trade agreement sets fair rules
By CGTN's Global Business and Owen Poland
New Zealand will be officially represented at the China International Import Expo, with two pavilions that will showcase a range of quality products. David Parker, New Zealand’s Minister for Trade and Export Growth, considered the expo an opportunity to send the right message to Chinese consumers.
"It's really important that people know that the story they hear about New Zealand is authentic, that we do our utmost to take care of the environment, that we've got good labor standards, that we're a fair country, and that we're so beautiful. And this is an opportunity to showcase those qualities as we also forge those closer, people-to-people and trading relationships," the minister said.
The expo is being held just a few weeks after the 10th anniversary of the historic Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between China and New Zealand. The FTA sets fair rules around trade, tariffs and non-tariff barriers, based on Parker.
In the meantime, he highlighted that "as a consequence of that Agreement, trade between our two countries has boomed. It's tripled. It's now 28 billion US dollars two-way trade in goods and services. There's been investment flows in both directions as well and it has served the interests of both China and New Zealand very well."
And Parker said that China-New Zealand relationship is positive at this moment, and would be further improved.
"We like to think that we are pretty transparent and open with our relationships with all of the larger countries including China... those people-to-people relationships, allied with those political relationships and the trade which flows between our two countries mean that our relationship's in fantastic shape," Parker told CGTN.
Behind the scenes, officials from both countries have spent the past two years working to upgrade and modernize the trade agreement, and he expected to see improvements in the rules relating to e-commerce as well as progresses on tariffs for manufactured timber products.
"That's a disadvantage and hinders trade between our two countries, so we're hoping to see a bit of progress on that," he added.