New Zealand, China on track for FTA

Wellington, October 3:

New Zealand and China are on track to secure a free trade deal but there are tough issues to

overcome, trade negotiations minister Phil Goff said today. Goff met Chinese commerce minister Bo Xilai in Auckland yesterday to discuss the free trade deal, which is aimed to be completed by April 2008.

“Progress is about what we would have expected to date,” Goff said. He said Bo was committed to reaching a conclusion to the negotations, although he warned the issues to be resolved would get thornier. “As we get further into the negotiations you get closer to the tough issues and this is the first developed country China has attempted to negotiate a free trade agreement with,” Goff said. “So the nature of this agreement is more comprehensive, more wide-ranging than any other agreement they have sought.”

Petrochem industry profits

BEIJING: China’s booming petrochemical industry racked up profits close to $37.5 billion from January to August this year. Statistics show that the industry’s profit is up by 22.5 per cent year on year. In the first eight months, China produced 122.93 million tonnes of crude, 1.8 per cent up on the same period of last year. — Xinhua