Two new agreements signed Monday are set to boost cooperation in science and technology and in education between New Zealand and China.
The agreements were signed in Wellington during the three-day visit by Chinese State Councilor Liu Yandong ahead of the 40th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the two countries on Dec. 22.
A joint declaration focusing on enhancing and supporting science and technology research cooperation was signed by New Zealand Science and Innovation Minister Steven Joyce and Chinese Deputy Minister of Science and Technology Wang Zhigang, and witnessed by Liu.
"New Zealand and China have strong links in science and technology and this declaration help to grow this relationship," Joyce said in a statement.
New Zealand's Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment and China's Ministry of Science and Technology also agreed to increase funding over the next five years to 2016 to enhance and support bilateral science and technology cooperation, totalling 10 million NZ dollars (8.32 million U.S. dollars).
"China is our second largest trading partner and the bilateral trade and economic relationship we share is very important. Trade between our countries has increased by 50 percent since the New Zealand-China Free Trade Agreement was signed in 2008 we want this growth to continue," said Joyce.
A separate agreement to increase education cooperation and enhance business opportunities for New Zealand tertiary education institutions was also signed.
"China is the largest source of international students in New Zealand and likely to remain so," Education Minister Hekia Parata said in a statement.
"State Councillor Liu Yandong's visit will help support New Zealand's crucial education industry links with China. It also furthers our interest in greater collaboration in education services," she said.
"The agreement provides a foundation for officials' work in this important economic, social and political area of the relationship."
Liu, whose portfolios include education, science, screen and television and culture, departs New Zealand on Tuesday.