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China, New Zealand sign labor market agreement

Chinese Vice Premier Li Keqiang (L) shakes hands with Deputy Prime Minister of New Zealand Bill English in Wellington, New Zealand, Nov. 2. 2009.

China and New Zealand signed a labor market agreement on Monday, under which the New Zealand government would ease restrictions on Chinese workers seeking temporary jobs in the island nation.

The agreement, part of efforts to fully implement the free trade agreement between the two countries, was signed after visiting Chinese Vice Premier Li Keqiang held talks with his New Zealand counterpart Bill English.

Under the deal, the number of technical Chinese workers in New Zealand could reach 1,000 at any given time while the number in five specially designated sectors was set at 800.

Both countries also agreed that the quota system did not apply to Chinese citizens who were permitted to work in New Zealand under the country's immigration regulations.

By the end of September, there were about 320 Chinese laborers working in New Zealand.

A Chinese official traveling with Li said the agreement would help protect the legitimate rights of Chinese laborers in New Zealand.

China and New Zealand have seen rapid growth in bilateral trade since the two sides implemented a free trade agreement in October 2008.

New Zealand is the first developed country to sign a free trade agreement with China. China is currently the second largest trading partner and the third largest export market of New Zealand.


 Source : Xinhua  Editor: Ivy
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