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China, New Zealand ends ninth round FTA talks

Xinhua, 15 October 2006

China, New Zealand ends ninth round FTA talks

China and New Zealand have made further progress toward establishing a Free Trade Area (FTA) during the ninth round of negotiations held in Wellington, New Zealand, between Oct. 9-14.

The two sides carried out extensive consultations and increased their consensus on the trade of products and services, investment, intellectual property rights, resolution of disputes, rules of origins, customs cooperation, technical barriers and other issues, said a spokesman of the Chinese Ministry of Commerce here on Saturday.

According to the Chinese Ministry of Commerce, China is in talks with nearly 30 countries and regions with the aim of establishing nine free trade areas, covering one quarter of China’s total trade. Negotiations with New Zealand are the first such talks with a developed country.

Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao and New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark agreed during Wen’s April visit to New Zealand that the two sides are to conclude their negotiations on Free Trade Area in one or two years.

Trade between China and New Zealand has been growing rapidly in recent years. Bilateral trade reached 2.68 billion U.S. dollars in 2005, 2.5 times more than in 2000.

The tenth round of negotiations will be held in Beijing in January, 2007.

 source: People’s Daily