New Zealand-China Relations: "Four Firsts"
Since the establishment of diplomatic relations in December 1972, New Zealand and China have built up wide ranging and important linkages. Trade and economic ties continue to underpin the relationship. China has become New Zealand's third largest trading partner in goods, with total two-way merchandise trade totaling more than NZ$7.5 billion in 2007. China is also an increasingly important market for trade in services. Investment flows between our two countries are also significant.
New Zealand and China signed a Trade and Economic Cooperation Framework in 2004 to provide a mechanism for managing this vital and dynamic part of the bilateral relationship. The Framework also provided the basis for the Free Trade Agreement negotiations.
The signing of a high quality, comprehensive and balanced Free Trade Agreement in April 2008 represents "the fourth first" in a series of milestone agreements between New Zealand and China in the trade and economic area. The other "firsts" in the relationship have been:
- New Zealand was the first Western country to conclude a bilateral agreement with China on its accession to the World Trade Organisation, in August 1997.
- New Zealand was the first developed economy to recognise China's status as a market economy in April 2004.
- New Zealand was the first developed country to enter into FTA negotiations with China, announced in November 2004.
- Page last updated: 02 July 2010