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Wednesday 23 Aug 2017 | 10:38 | SYDNEY
Wednesday 23 Aug 2017 | 10:38 | SYDNEY

New Zealand and China: The four firsts

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15 December 2008 10:21

I have just returned from my first ever trip to Wellington, NZ, where I was the guest of the Asia New Zealand Foundation. As with most trips to a new destination, it challenged many of my assumptions and allowed me to see the world from a different perspective.

I had thought that Wellington would be a mini-Canberra by the sea, but discovered a much larger and more dynamic place. Maybe Wellington is what our national capital might have been if it had been placed on the coast at Jervis Bay rather than near Australia’s first inland city, Goulburn.

A more intellectual impression was how much New Zealand has invested in its burgeoning economic and political relationship with the People’s Republic of China. Despite China only being New Zealand’s fourth largest trading partner, New Zealand boasts of four firsts when it comes to trade diplomacy with China:

  1. New Zealand was the first country to support China’s  accession to the WTO.
  2. New Zealand was the first developed country to recognize China as a market economy under the WTO.
  3. New Zealand was the  developed country (minor or major) to start negotiating an FTA with China.
  4. New Zealand was the first developed country (minor or major) to sign and ratify an FTA with China.

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