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New Zealand pavilion popular in China

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
Phil Goff
Phil Goff

Wellington, June 8 NZPA - New Zealand's pavilion at the World Expo in China is proving very popular, says Labour leader Phil Goff who is in Shanghai.

Mr Goff and Labour list MP Raymond Huo travelled to China on Sunday for their week-long trip. They will visit Shanghai, Wuxi, Beijing and Chongqing.

China was the principal factor in helping New Zealand recover from the economic crisis, Mr Goff told NZPA.

Exports to China in the year to March totalled $3.9 billion, an increase of more than $1b since the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) came into effect.

Mr Goff signed the FTA in 2008 as trade minister.

This was his first trip back since then.

About 30,000 people a day were visiting New Zealand's pavilion at the Expo with a total seven million expected to go through.

Mr Goff said the pavilion was in a "prime spot" about 150m away from the Chinese one.

It provided a "remarkable opportunity to sell New Zealand", he said.

"It sells New Zealand for what our strongest branding is; a beautiful country, a modern country, a high-tech country and good country to get an education in, a good country to buy high quality safe food and beverages from and a good country to do business with."

That was the message people going through the expo would get which would be good for tourism and business, Mr Goff said.

The New Zealand pavilion was rated by the official Chinese government publication as one of the top 10 to visit and was very popular, he said.

Mr Goff would also visit a number of New Zealand businesses in China, was working closely with Trade and Enterprise New Zealand and Ministry of Foreign Affairs officials there and would meet with Chinese foreign affairs representatives.

"I'm working closely with the Government and the government agencies on this as part of the effort that New Zealand has to make to take even greater advantage of what is now our second biggest trading partner."

Mr Goff returns next Sunday.

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