China and New Zealand held the ninth round of negotiations toward establishing a Free Trade Area (FTA) in Wellington, New Zealand, between October 9-14, state media reported. A spokesman for the Ministry of Commerce said the two sides increased consensus on the trade of products and services, investment, intellectual property rights, resolution of disputes, rules of origin, customs cooperation, technical barriers and other issues. The ministry said China is in talks with nearly 30 countries and regions with the aim of establishing nine free trade areas, covering one quarter of China' s total trade, but New Zealand is the only developed country included. Bilateral trade with New Zealand reached US$2.68 billion in 2005, 2.5 times more than in 2000. The tenth round of talks will be held in Beijing in January, 2007.
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