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China FTA upgrade in the works: Key

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 19/04/2016

Small steps have been taken towards ramping up the free trade deal between China and New Zealand, the prime minister says.

Since China and New Zealand signed the FTA in 2008, trade between the two countries has more than doubled.

Prime Minister John Key met with President Xi Jinping in Beijing on Tuesday to discuss an upgrade of the deal, which still has some protections on dairy exports.

Following a meeting, Mr Key said trade ministers would soon meet to discuss practical steps towards launching an upgrade negotiation.

"Good progress has been made in determining the scope of what an FTA upgrade might cover," he said.

New Zealand exports about $10 billion worth of goods to China, according to 2014 figures.

Mr Key also took the opportunity to talk up former prime minister Helen Clark as a candidate for UN Secretary-General, the top job at the United Nations.

"I explained to President Xi why New Zealand believes Helen Clark is the best person for the job," he said.

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