Negotiations commenced in April 2017 and we are aiming to make substantial progress this year.

We want to conclude a high quality upgrade to the New Zealand-China free trade agreement as soon as possible.


  • 2004: Original New Zealand-China FTA negotiations launched and Joint Study Report published
  • 2008: FTA signed in Beijing on 7 April and came into force on 1 October.
  • 2008 onwards: Implementation of original FTA begins. Officials have met regularly to monitor implementation, enhance cooperation and address issues impacting trade.
  • 2014: New Zealand and China agree to look at upgrading the FTA
  • 2014-2016:  Joint discussions on the scope of upgrade negotiations
  • 2016: New Zealand and China agree on the scope and formal negotiations are launched at the APEC Leaders Meetings in Lima, Peru
  • April 2017: Round one of upgrade negotiations in Beijing, China
  • July 2017: Round two held in Beijing, China
  • November 2017: Round three held in Queenstown, New Zealand
  • June 2018: Round four held in Beijing, China
  • Sept 2018: Round five held in Beijing, China
  • Nov 2018: Round six held in Beijing, China
  • May 2019: Round seven held in Wellington, New Zealand
  • August 2019: Round eight held in Beijing, China

Round nine of the free trade agreement upgrade negotiations is expected to be held before the end of 2019.

Next steps after conclusion

Once negotiations have concluded, the text of the Agreement will be considered by Cabinet.  Cabinet will also consider whether to approve the text as well as the necessary steps to bring the new Agreement into force.

The existing 2008 Agreement will continue to remain in force, and the upgraded free trade agreement will sit alongside these original commitments. The upgraded free trade agreement will add new provisions to the existing Agreement, and in areas where the existing Agreement’s provisions have been amended, these will be replaced by the upgraded free trade agreement.