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Last Updated: Monday, 6 November 2006, 10:34 GMT
NZ gets set for China trade talks
New Zealand lamb
Lamb is one of New Zealand's largest exports
Delegates from New Zealand are visiting Shanghai as they continue efforts to strike a free trade deal with China.

About 120 people from New Zealand's business, trade and tourism industries are flying on the inaugural direct flight between Auckland and Shanghai.

If the talks are successful, it would be China's first such pact with an advanced Western economy.

The collapse of the Doha round of global trade talks has left nations keen to establish bilateral deals.

Both sides say they want to conclude talks by 2008.

Self-promotion

New Zealand will offer investment opportunities as well as promoting itself as a tourist destination to an increasingly mobile and affluent middle class.

It also hopes to encourage more Chinese students to study at its universities.

New Zealand Trade Minister Phil Goff will visit the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences and the site of Expo 2010.

In another development, Chinese President Hu Jintao is preparing to visit India later this month.

Trade between India and China has rocketed since they began nurturing economic ties and the Himalayan border crossing was opened last year after 44 years of closure.

Now Beijing hopes to have talks on establishing a free trade area, which would link the two largest countries in the developing world.

Beijing already is negotiating free trade deals with the ASEAN countries in South-East Asia, Singapore, and Australia.


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