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NZ to Invest US$12 Mln to Expand Trade
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New Zealand Trade and Enterprise (NZTE) is to invest US$12 million in China to boost trade and promote its businesses.


Rod MacKenzie, group managing director of North Asia with NZTE, said the investment would be used to develop a New Zealand concept center in Shanghai.


The center would chiefly provide information on New Zealand, such as travel, fashion, food and lifestyles.


Meanwhile, New Zealand will open five new business offices in China in four years.


The project served as a strategic plan for identifying key trade opportunities in China, especially during the 2010 Shanghai World Expo, said MacKenzie.


Locations of the five offices were yet to be decided, but the NZTE said that it had researched markets and trade opportunities in Wuhan, Dalian, Shenzhen, Qingdao and Chengdu.


New Zealand would seek new export opportunities in China in fields such as food, beverage, wood and agricultural technologies.


Bilateral trade topped US$5.11 billion in 2006, said MacKenzie.


New Zealand's exports to China include dairy products, eggs, honey, wood, wood pulp, and seafood while imports from China are chiefly electronics, furniture, toys, steel products and textiles.


Tony Browne, New Zealand Ambassador to China, said the China-New Zealand Free Trade Zone Agreement was under discussion with the 13th round of negotiations concluded and the 14th round to be held soon in Beijing.


But he was reluctant to comment on the details of the negotiations.


"It is a very detailed, very complicated, very elaborate negotiation. It is a very difficult negotiation because it is China's first negotiation with a developed country and it is the most important bilateral negotiation that New Zealand is dealing with," Browne said.


The NZTE, New Zealand's national economic development agency, has a global network of 48 offices.


(Xinhua News Agency August 18, 2007)

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