Premier Li Keqiang (3rd R) and his New Zealand’s counterpart Bill English (3rd L) hold talks in Wellington, New Zealand, March 27, 2017. [Photo/Xinhua]
China and New Zealand will jointly establish an upgraded free trade area with more open trade and investment, to promote bilateral trade cooperation and economic globalization, Premier Li Keqiang said in Wellington, on March 27.
Noting rising protectionism and counter-globalization, Premier Li said in talks with his New Zealand counterpart Bill English that both sides should adhere to the UN Charter principles, and jointly and steadily push forward economic globalization and create a more open global market.
As advocates and beneficiaries of economic globalization and regional integration, China and New Zealand should strengthen bilateral cooperation within the framework of the Asia Infrastructure Investment Bank, a China-initiated multilateral financial institution that aims to support infrastructure construction across Asia, he said.
He also called on both countries to speed up negotiations on the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership and play an active role in economic growth of the Asia-Pacific region and the rest of the world as well as in regional peace, stability and prosperity.
China and New Zealand have highly compatible development strategies and complementary economies, he said, adding that the alignment of development strategies, innovation and husbandry cooperation will drive bilateral cooperation.
Both sides will create new business opportunities by enhancing cooperation on the Belt and Road Initiative, proposed by China in 2013 with an aim to build a trade and infrastructure network connecting Asia with Europe and Africa along and beyond the ancient land and maritime Silk Road trade routes, he said.
In addition, the two countries will strengthen cooperation in such fields as joint research, information sharing, new types of businesses and cross-border e-commerce, the Premier noted.
Premier Li Keqiang (front) attends a welcome ceremony held by his New Zealand’s counterpart Bill English before their talks in Wellington, New Zealand, March 27, 2017. [Photo/Xinhua]
He also said that the two sides will step up cooperation in addressing climate change, and jointly expand cooperation of the whole industry chain of husbandry with high-technology and high added-value.
China and New Zealand will expand education and tourism cooperation and facilitate people-to-people and cultural exchanges, he said, adding that cooperation in justice and law enforcement should also be reinforced.
Since the establishment of diplomatic ties 45 years ago, China and New Zealand have established high-level political mutual trust and reaped fruitful results in practical cooperation, he said.
For a long time, ties between the two countries have been at the forefront among China’s relations with Western developed countries, which is regarded as an exemplar of bilateral ties between countries with different national conditions and development stages, he said.
China is willing to work with New Zealand to keep enhancing political mutual trust, push forward exchanges at various levels and increase practical cooperation to bring the China-New Zealand comprehensive strategic partnership to a new level, he said.
For his part, English said that New Zealand is very proud to take the lead in developing ties with China, adding that high-level exchanges play an important role in bilateral ties.
He said the decision by the two countries to start talks on upgrading China-New Zealand Free Trade Agreement will send a positive signal to the world that both sides will support free and open trade, which will increase the well-beings of the two peoples.
New Zealand adheres to the one-China policy and back bilateral cooperation on the Belt and Road Initiative, English said, adding that his country will further promote cooperation in economy and trade, science and technology as well as justice and law enforcement.
The Premier and English exchanged views on global and regional issues of common concern during their talks.
Following the fruitful talks, they witnessed the signing of a series of documents in such fields as economy and trade, culture, science and technology, education, customs service and tourism.
Earlier on March 27, English and his wife Mary held a welcoming ceremony for Premier Li and his wife Cheng Hong at the Government House in Wellington.
The Premier arrived in Wellington on March 26 for a four-day visit to the Oceanian country, the first by a Chinese Premier in 11 years.