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NZ opens business office in Shanghai

New Zealand expects to double trade with China over the next five to 10 years, a senior NZ government official said yesterday.

"Trade value is expected to double within five to 10 years and we are optimistic about the goal as long as the economic situation improves by the end of this year," Rod Mackenzie, the north Asia managing director for New Zealand Trade and Enterprise (NZTE), the government's trade development agency, said yesterday at the opening of the country's first business center in China.

New Zealand spent NZ$2.1 million (US$1.2 million) to establish the center - called New Zealand Central - in Xintiandi in downtown Shanghai.

New Zealand Prime Minister John Key told the gathering he hoped the center would help build closer ties with China and promote free trade.

China and New Zealand signed a tourism agreement to help promote each other's destinations during Key's visit on Wednesday.

China is New Zealand's third-largest trading partner. Trade between the two countries more than tripled in the past decade to 10.14 billion yuan (US$1.48 billion) last year.

NZTE wants to expand its network of offices in China over the next two years and wants to promote New Zealand's premium foods and beverages as China's appetite for high-quality products continues to grow.


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