The announcement that New Zealand is to sign a free trade deal with China next week will make history – it is a huge deal for New Zealand with the potential to underpin our growth for years to come. Trade Minister Phil Goff has stated that “The estimated benefit to NZ of a free trade agreement is a growth in exports against baselines of between $225 million and $350 million a year and, in due course, a reduction in tariff payments worth $115 million.”
Suddenly Helen Clark’s reluctance to meet with the Dalai Lama during his visit to NZ last year starts to make more sense! That said – there is a certain irony in the fact that the venue for the signing of the agreement is to be the Great Hall of the People in Tiananmen Square!
In view of the current situation in Tibet – you might be interested to know that there is a website you can go to to register your concerns about China’s human rights record in this area: