New Zealand in free-trade push ahead of China Premier Li visit | Reuters

WELLINGTON New Zealand Prime Minister Bill English on Friday announced a renewed push to promote free trade in his first major trade policy announcement since taking over as leader last December.New Zealand's $180 billion economy depends on exports, and the country lobbied hard in favour of the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal. It wants to push for an expansion of a free-trade agreement with China at a meeting with Chinese Premier Li Keqiang on Monday.English said on Friday his centre right government wants free-trade agreements to cover 90 percent of goods exported by 2030, up from just over half currently.

"The biggest threat to our economic success at the moment is disruption of international trade," English said at a business event in Auckland on Friday.

The new policy includes funds for an expanded trade bureaucracy, including new diplomatic posts in Dublin and Colombo.The New Zealand government is in the process of negotiating trade deals with the Gulf states and the European Union.

English's remarks echo comments from New Zealand's Reserve Bank governor, Graeme Wheeler, who earlier this month said U.S. protectionism was the greatest source of uncertainty for the world economy. The announcement comes ahead of a general election in September, with English's National party currently leading opinion polls. (Reporting by Tom Westbrook; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

Updated Date: Mar 24, 2017 05:00 AM

Also Watch

IPL 2018: Royal Challengers Bangalore eye revival against Chennai Super Kings as 'Cauvery Derby' comes back to life
  • Thursday, April 26, 2018 In the Kanjarbhat community, a campaign against 'virginity tests' is slowly gaining ground
  • Tuesday, April 24, 2018 It's A Wrap: Beyond the Clouds stars Ishaan Khatter, Malavika Mohanan in conversation with Parul Sharma
  • Monday, April 9, 2018 48 hours with Huawei P20 Pro: Triple camera offering is set to redefine smartphone imaging
  • Monday, April 16, 2018 Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore interview: Sports can't be anyone's fiefdom, we need an ecosystem to nurture raw talent

Also See