Bill English and Li Keqiang
Chinese Premier Li Keqiang speaks during a media conference with New Zealand's Prime Minister Bill English in Wellington, New Zealand, March 27, 2017. Reuters/Anthony Phelps

New Zealand Prime Minister Bill English and China's Premier Li Keqiang have announced that talks on upgrading the New Zealand-China Free Trade Agreement would begin on Anzac Day. The two countries have signed several agreements covering trade and other issues.

The signed agreements included a six-month trial that would allow access to China for chilled meat from 10 New Zealand meat processors. The increase in the number of direct flights from 49 to 59 was also included in the agreement. English said that he expected that more products could be exported to China from New Zealand. The New Zealand prime minister also expected health-related products would be in demand.

Li discussed the issue on steel dumping but he said that he has no relevant information about it. However, he noted that the country was not accepting dumped steel from other countries. He also said that the Chinese government would not allow companies to illegally dump steel in other countries. If the companies were caught doing such immoral practice, they would be punished.

There was a global oversupply of iron and steel according to the premier. However, he noted that 90 percent of steel products in China were used domestically. He said that five percent of zinc-coated steel in New Zealand came from China.

China imported 50 percent of its dairy products from New Zealand. English said they ensured that the dairy products were in good quality as they created an upgraded process that would keep the products safe. Apart from steel and dairy products, the two countries were expecting other products to be imported including health products.

Information about the South China Sea was discussed by Li. He said that his country was aiming to create a new maritime silk road through a Belt-line initiative. The silk road was expected to provide stability and peace in the South China Sea. The premier said that negotiations between China and all other parties involved were going smoothly. He said that every year, there were over 100,000 ships went through the water with no incidents of piracy.

English was hoping that the premier's visit to New Zealand would help to further strengthen ties between the two countries. He said that the relationship was now in its 45th year and in great shape. He described it as deep and broad and he said that the government was committed to its ongoing success. The prime minister said that he was hoping to discuss global and regional issues.