Little benefit for China in NZ free trade arrangement, says Chinese Association

NZ Herald | 21 January 2008

Little benefit for China in free trade arrangement, says Chinese Association

China is expected receive little benefit from a free trade pact with New Zealand.

Formal talks on the proposed trade agreement have ended, with all outstanding issues resolved, Trade Minister Phil Goff says.

It would see China phase out tariffs on agriculture products from New Zealand, while New Zealand removes its remaining tariffs on Chinese clothing and footwear.

The agreement is expected to be signed off by April.

However Kai Luey, president of the New Zealand Chinese Association, says China is using its first free trade agreement as a "guinea pig" to deals with other countries.

"With New Zealand being a small country and a small economy there are a limited number of products which are of interest to China."

Mr Luey says China is a powerhouse for manufacturing and consumerism and many nations want free trade deals with it.

He says New Zealand’s dairy industry will be the big winner from the pact.

Mr Goff said negotiators still had 1000 pages of text to work through before Cabinet approved the deal, Radio New Zealand reported.

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source: NZ Herald