China may sign FTA with New Zealand first

ABC | Tuesday October 12, 2004

China may sign FTA with NZ first

New Zealand may emerge as the first western country to sign a free trade agreement with China.

A study looking at such a deal is to be released next month, and official negotiations between the two governments will start in the new year.

Tony St Clair from the Federated Farmers of New Zealand says there are opportunities for his country and Australia from the deal.

"I think we’re going to be looking at our meat products, some of our horticultural produce and obviously further processed dairy product going up there as well," he said.

"Obviously it’s going to be a developing market over a number of years.

"I think for both Australia and New Zealand, our focus is going to start turning up there and I think it offers a lot of exciting prospects."

Australia’s feasibility study into a free trade agreement with China is due to be completed in March, but negotiations are not expected to start until October next year.

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source: ABC