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New Zealand China Council
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FTA Upgrade Update Event

November 27, 2019

The New Zealand Government has announced the conclusion of negotiations to upgrade New Zealand’s existing free trade agreement with China. Following the announcement, the NZ China Council hosted a discussion with 40 key stakeholders on the upgrade in Auckland yesterday.

The discussion was led by Barney Riley, Chief Negotiator from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs & Trade, moderated by our Executive Director Stephen Jacobi.

One of the key points to come out of the discussion was that the upgrade will bring both political and commercial benefit for New Zealand. In addition, the discussion focused on the key outcomes of the upgrade, how will it help New Zealand exporters and what new chapters have been added. One outcome with which the Council is particularly pleased is the re-allocation of visa numbers to allow more Mandarin language assistants from 150 to 300. This will boost our capacity in Chinese language, something the Council has consistently advocated for.

“ The global trade situation has changed significantly since the original FTA was signed in 2008 and so has our relationship with China. The upgrade demonstrates the importance which both Governments place on our relationship and on boosting the economies of both countries.” said Stephen.

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