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China and New Zealand Forge Stronger Trade & Agriculture Pact

The strengthened cooperation between China and New Zealand in various sectors signifies their commitment to expanding mutually beneficial ties.

Shivam Dwivedi
China and New Zealand Forge Stronger Trade & Agriculture Pact (Photo Source: Pixabay)
China and New Zealand Forge Stronger Trade & Agriculture Pact (Photo Source: Pixabay)

China and New Zealand have recently announced plans to enhance their bilateral cooperation in several key areas, including agriculture, food security, trade facilitation, and more. The joint statement was issued, emphasizing the commitment of both nations to strengthening ties.

According to the statement, negotiations will soon commence on a list of services that will be prohibited to foreign investors. This move reflects New Zealand's focus on protecting its domestic industries and ensuring a level playing field for its local businesses. Additionally, New Zealand has signed multiple cooperation agreements with China, covering trade, agriculture, forestry, education, science, and innovation.

New Zealand Prime Minister Chris Hipkins, who is currently on a state visit to China, engaged in discussions with Chinese Premier Li Qiang regarding various regional and global matters. The New Zealand government's statement mentioned that the Indo-Pacific region, tensions in the South China Sea, and the situation in the Taiwan Strait were among the topics of discussion.

The visit aims to strengthen trade ties between the two countries, as China remains a significant market for New Zealand's exports. Approximately a quarter of New Zealand's export earnings are derived from trade with China, making it one of the Western nations most reliant on economic ties with Beijing. However, this close relationship, coupled with China's assertive efforts to expand its influence in New Zealand, has raised concerns among some of Wellington's allies.

During his visit, Prime Minister Hipkins also had a meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping. The discussions primarily focused on areas of direct bilateral cooperation, such as trade, education, science, innovation, agriculture, and tourism. The statement released by the prime minister's office highlighted President Xi's acknowledgment of the constructive role China can play in addressing global challenges like climate change and the conflict in Ukraine.

While China claims neutrality in the Russian-Ukrainian conflict, it has faced criticism for its reluctance to condemn the Russian invasion and its close ties with Moscow. Similarly, New Zealand's relatively lenient stance toward China has drawn attention.
In response, Hipkins emphasized in the statement that New Zealand would continue to advocate for approaches and outcomes that align with its independent foreign policy, interests, and values, maintaining a respectful yet consistent approach. President Xi affirmed the positive development of bilateral relations between China and New Zealand, emphasizing the tangible benefits that such cooperation brings to both nations.

As negotiations progress and agreements are implemented, both nations are expected to reap the rewards of this closer partnership.

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