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Customs Minister Maurice Williamson says the two-day visit by the China Customs Vice Minister, Mr Lu Peijen, is an opportunity to further strengthen the connection New Zealand has with China in all areas of customs activity.
"As our largest supplier and our second largest export market, our trade relationship with China is important. New Zealand Customs has an excellent working relationship with China Customs and we appreciate their willingness to work cooperatively with us on issues specific to New Zealand's trade.";
"The visit by Mr Lu Peijen is also particularly well timed. Customs is working with China's Anti-Smuggling Bureau on a number of initiatives to combat drug trafficking,"; Mr Williamson says.
Members of the Chinese Anti-Smuggling Bureau visited New Zealand in May to discuss the trafficking of pharmaceuticals containing precursors, and to gain an understanding of Customs' intelligence and targeting operations.
This year is the fourth anniversary of the China Free Trade Agreement, and the 40th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the two countries.
In the year to July 2012, New Zealand's exports to China grew more than 10 per cent (from $5.6 billion to $6.2 billion) and imports from China grew about nine per cent (from $6.7 to $7.3 billion).