New Zealand upgrades free trade deal with China



Thomas Manch | The Sydney Morning Herald

Wellington: After eight years and thirty rounds of negotiations, the New Zealand government has put pen to paper on what has been called the world’s largest free-trade agreement.

The deal offers some New Zealand goods faster access to Chinese markets and a reduction in tariffs for paper and wood products.

Trade Minister Damien O’Connor and China’s Commerce Minister Wang Wentao inked the deal in a video-link meeting on Tuesday afternoon, more than a year after it was first settled by the countries.

Signing the paperwork in the Beehive in Wellington, O’Connor said the upgrade meant the deal was suitable for another decade. New Zealand was the first developed country to sign a free trade agreement with China, in 2008.

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