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Li Keqiang and Prime Minister Bill English of New Zealand Jointly Meet the Press

At noon of March 27, 2017 local time, Premier Li Keqiang and Prime Minister Bill English of New Zealand jointly met the press after their talks at the Premier House in Wellington and answered questions.

The Chinese Premier and Prime Minister of New Zealand shared the achievements of their talks, saying that the talks are wide-ranging, in-depth, friendly, frank and fruitful.

Li Keqiang noted that, since the establishment of the diplomatic relations between China and New Zealand 45 years ago, bilateral relations have undergone rapid development and yielded fruitful results from practical cooperation, bringing tangible benefits to the two peoples. Against current rising anti-globalization and trade protectionism, China and New Zealand should work together to send out a positive signal with practical actions to the region and world of safeguarding open economy and free trade as well as regional stability and world peace. China is willing to work with New Zealand to constantly advance people-to-people and cultural exchanges, provide facilitation for personnel exchanges, and further consolidate the public opinion foundation of China-New Zealand friendship.

In response to the questions about China-New Zealand economic and trade relationship, Li Keqiang said that, China-New Zealand relations have created many “firsts” over the past years, among which the most noteworthy is the signing of the China-New Zealand Free Trade Agreement (FTA). It is one of the highest-standard agreements signed between China and developed countries. Both countries have established a long-term, stable and sound economic and trade relationship, as the bilateral trade volume growth outpacing the economic growth of both countries. This visit has witnessed the high-level consensus reached on the upgrade of the FTA, which is surely beneficial for the development of China-New Zealand economic and trade relationship, as well as the two peoples.

In response to the questions about steel overcapacity and dumping, Li Keqiang pointed out that 90 percent of China's steel products are consumed domestically and only 10 percent are exported, and China has taken measures to close down backward and excessive steel production. The steel that China exports to New Zealand only account for a small fraction, while China has substantial trade deficits with New Zealand in the trade of some products, but we don’t think either of the two is dumping. The relations between China and New Zealand are mature enough for the two sides to deal with this issue with the big picture of free trade in mind. The ultimate solution to trade deficits is to keep an open gate, or otherwise greater trade imbalance would be caused. We should deal with the differences and frictions in our trade through rational and prudent dialogues, so as to push bilateral economic and trade relationship for constant, sound and stable development.

Bill English expressed that, his talks with Premier Li Keqiang are productive, and have generated extensive consensus on the cooperation between the two countries, fully reflecting the breadth and depth of the bilateral relations. The New Zealand-China FTA has effectively deepened the economic and trade cooperation between both countries. As the negotiation on upgrade of the FTA starts, the development of the bilateral economic and trade relationship is expected to benefit more from it. New Zealand will take measures to guarantee the safety of the food that exported to China, and will strengthen cooperation with China in food safety.

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