BEIJING, Feb. 2 (Xinhua) -- New Zealand Trade Minister Tim Groser said Tuesday that trading relationship between New Zealand and China has "never been better," thanks to their bilateral free trade agreement (FTA).
"There is a very strong complementarity between China and New Zealand's economies," said Groser, adding that China is now New Zealand's second largest trading partner and it is hard to find something to argue about in bilateral trading relationship.
The FTA between China and New Zealand was signed in April 2008. In the 12 months since the FTA entered into force in October of 2008, two-way trade increased to more than 4.4 billion U.S. dollars.
According to China's Customs, the bilateral trade volume between China and New Zealand reached over 4.5 billion U.S. dollars in 2009.
Groser said the FTA reinforced the natural way in which the Chinese economy complemented that of New Zealand and also symbolized the very close and productive political relations that New Zealand has with china
New Zealand is the first developed country to sign bilateral agreement on China's entry into the World Trade Organization (WTO), the first developed country to recognize China's full market economy status, the first developed country to start and complete the bilateral FTA negotiations.
Groser met with China's Minister of Commerce Chen Deming Tuesday morning.
Groser said they focused the discussion on the shared interests of New Zealand and China in the WTO in terms of the emerging architecture of the Asia-Pacific region including the free trade area proposals.
Groser, who went to Shanghai in 1972 for the first time, told Xinhua that the city has undergone "astonishing" changes and is now the economic powerhouse of the world.
New Zealand announced its decision to participate in the Shanghai World Expo during Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao's official visit to New Zealand in April 2006 and has invested 30 million NZ dollars (about 22 million U. S. dollars) in the Shanghai Expo.
Groser said there would be a large number of delegations led by various ministers to join the Expo and reinforce the driving of New Zealand-China trade.
"We look forward to a very harmonious relationship with China in the future," he added.