On the Promise and Reality of New Zealand-China Trade
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Over the past half century New Zealand’s trade policy has focused on evolving away from a traditional reliance on Britain and Europe as the main markets for its primary export activities. The goal has been to secure more wealthy markets to sell high value goods to, and establish a competitive place in the global market. In recent decades the focus to that end has particularly been on the fast developing Asian markets, so the establishment of the New Zealand–China Free Trade Agreement in 2008 was seen as an important step in achieving diversification and development goals. It must be asked, however, how much this relationship has contributed to trading progress and real economic development spinoffs for New Zealand, and the current review of the free trade agreement has raised important questions in that respect. This paper presents an overview of key elements of New Zealand’s export trade to China since 2008 as a context for the review of this trade agreement.