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Li Keqiang Holds Talks with Prime Minister John Key of New Zealand, Jointly Announcing the Direct Trading between RMB and NZ Dollar

In the afternoon of March 18, 2014, Premier of the State Council Li Keqiang held talks at the Great Hall of the People with Prime Minister John Key of New Zealand, who is paying a working visit to China.

Li Keqiang said, over the past 42 years since the establishment of the diplomatic relationship between China and New Zealand, the bilateral relations have developed by leaps and bounds. While continuingly in line with the principles of mutual respect and mutual benefit with win-win results, China is willing to enhance political mutual trust, to expand practical cooperation, and to promote people-to-people and cultural exchanges with New Zealand, so as to push forward the development of bilateral relations.

Li Keqiang expressed that, at your visit to China, we will announce together the direct trading between RMB and New Zealand dollar (NZ dollar). It will help reduce the currency conversion cost of the two economic entities and will promote bilateral economic, trade and financial cooperation. It is a must to ensure the success for it. Hope that New Zealand will continue its support for Chinese financial institutions to set up branches in the country, to actively promote the use of RMB for New Zealand enterprises, and to consolidate and expand the basis for bilateral financial cooperation.

Li Keqiang pointed out, we hope the two sides will give full play to the positive effects of the China-New Zealand Free Trade Agreement (FTA) and focus on promoting cooperation in key fields of agriculture and animal husbandry. The Chinese side attaches great importance to food safety and welcomes the New Zealand side to export more high-quality agricultural products to China. We hope that the New Zealand side keeps a strict standard of food safety, and safeguards the rights and interests of Chinese consumers with practical measures. The Chinese government encourages competent and reputable Chinese enterprises to invest in and participate in the infrastructure construction of New Zealand. We expect the New Zealand side to ease restrictions for Chinese skilled workers and raw materials entering into the country and to provide necessary facilitation for Chinese enterprises.

Li Keqiang said, in the latter half of this year, China will host the 22nd Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Informal Leadership Meeting. The Chinese side is ready to strengthen multilateral coordination and cooperation with the New Zealand side, to work together to promote for positive and practical outcomes of the meeting, and to facilitate regional economic integration and common development.

John Key said that New Zealand-China relations remain very close, with fruitful achievements in bilateral cooperation in various fields. New Zealand is firmly committed to developing the relations with China, and is willing to work with China to ensure the success of the direct trading between RMB and NZ dollar. This opportunity will be taken to further expand cooperation in the fields of trade, investment, finance, education and tourism. The New Zealand side fully understands Chinese consumers' concern over food safety and will take more stringent measures to ensure the quality of food products exported to China.

After the talks, the Premier and the Prime Minister jointly attended the announcement ceremony of the direct trading between RMB and NZ dollar.

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