China, New Zealand Agree to Enhance FTA

The governments of China and New Zealand have agreed to upgrade their bilateral free trade agreement with service trade, e-commerce and agricultural cooperation, according to the Ministry of Commerce.

China is now New Zealand's top trading partner. Bilateral trade was worth $12.82 billion in 2015, up 1.2 percent on a year-on-year basis, according to the General Administration of Customs. Since the FTA was completed, New Zealand's goods exports to China have quadrupled, reaching around US$6.5 billion.

The first round of talks for the upgrade will be held in the first half of 2017 and will tackle issues such as market competition policies, trade technical barriers, customs procedures, trade facilitation measures and rules of origin will also be negotiated next year.

The bilateral trade agreement was signed in 2008. It focused on liberalizing trade, and relatively little attention was paid to services, improving infrastructure facilities and investment, and details of trade policy.

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