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McClay reaffirms ‘complementary’ NZ-China trade ties

13:30 16/4/2024
Todd McClay and Minister of Agriculture of PRC

Trade Minister Todd McClay greets Chinese Agriculture and Rural Affairs Minister Tang Renjian in Beijing on Monday. Photo: Supplied / Nancy Lu

Trade Minister Todd McClay has concluded talks with his counterparts in China, reaffirming the "complementary nature" of the bilateral trade relationship between the two nations.

McClay's visit marks the first official trip to China the coalition government has undertaken since winning the 2023 election.

"We discussed progress made on implementation of the 2022 FTA Upgrade provisions, and areas of bilateral cooperation, including in support of business environment reforms in China and intellectual property rights protection," McClay said after meeting Commerce Minister Wang Wentao in Beijing on Monday.

McClay also met Agriculture and Rural Affairs Minister Tang Renjian and National Forestry and Grassland Administration director Guan Zhi'ou.

They discussed ways to strengthen ties between the two countries' agricultural sectors, including areas of cooperation under a bilateral forestry arrangement.

"China is the top export market for New Zealand forest products, and New Zealand remains a strong supplier of softwood logs and wood products for the Chinese market," McClay said.

"Growing our trade relationships and exports will boost New Zealand's economy, and it is only through a strong economy (that) we can lift incomes, reduce the cost of living and afford the public services Kiwis deserve."

The trade minister is scheduled to visit Harbin and Shanghai, meeting the governor of Heilongjiang province as well as Chinese partners in the agriculture sector.

His visit to Shanghai will include engagements with New Zealand businesses operating in China, including small and medium enterprises in the food and beverage, health, nutrition, services and manufacturing sectors.

McClay is also scheduled to meet Shanghai Mayor Gong Zheng before returning to New Zealand on 19 April.

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