Key signs Alibaba deal in China


New Zealand's trade officials have signed a deal to help New Zealand businesses get more access to the world's biggest online market place, Alibaba.

Prime Minister John Key on Monday (NZT) met with Chinese Premier Li Keqiang in Beijing as part of trip aimed at further improving New Zealand's business relations with its second-biggest trading partner.

Among a series of agreements, they witnessed the signing is a memorandum of understanding between New Zealand Trade and Enterprise and China's Alibaba Group to help New Zealand businesses get easier access to the online market.

"NZTE and Alibaba have agreed to work together to provide services aimed at helping New Zealand businesses maximise the opportunities on Alibaba's online platform," Mr Key said.

"This is good news for New Zealand exporters looking to grow their business through direct sales to Chinese citizens."

The deal will see the company provide support to New Zealand companies.

Alibaba Group chairman Jack Ma, one of China's richest men, says he will also be looking at setting up a business embassy in New Zealand.

Mr Key said he and Mr Li also discussed upgrading New Zealand's current free trade deal with China, co-operation in the UN, science and tourism.

"We talked about the growing law enforcement and legal cooperation between our two countries, and agreed to foster increased communication on international legal issues between our two foreign ministries," he said.

Other agreements signed include China recognising New Zealand's halal standards for exports, a project to help facilitate funding for science and a deal to promote better credit export credit financing.

Since New Zealand and China signed their FTA in 2008, trade between the two countries has doubled to $20 billion a year.