8 Apr 2013

PM leaves forum confident about world economy

3:18 pm on 8 April 2013

Prime Minister John Key has left an economic forum in China more confident about the state of the world economy.

John Key met separately with International Monetary Fund managing director Christine Lagarde and Chinese President Xi Jinping in Bo'ao on Sunday before flying to Guangzhou as part of a week-long visit to the country.

Mr Key says there appears to be a greater sense of optimism about the economy since the global financial crisis hit in 2008.

"The IMF is becoming increasingly more positive on the outlook for the United States. There are still a number of concerns in Europe and, overall, very positive about what they see in Asia.

"Generally that theme was very consistent at the Bo'ao forum that most people are expecting the United States to probably out-perform expectations this year and generally no one picking a soft landing in China."

Ms Lagarde told the forum while there were positive signs there was still no room for complacency.

More capital investment sought

The Prime Minister said he also discussed with Xi Jinping opportunities for the nations to increase trade and investment, while making it clear that New Zealand was not keen on farmland being sold to foreign investors.

Mr Key told the president he would like to see more capital investment from China that will create jobs and wealth and it would best if investments were put into processing plants and adding value to products, rather than land purchases.

The Prime Minister said he made it clear that foreign ownership of land is sensitive in New Zealand and that the countries are good enough friends for New Zealand to state what its preference is.

Mr Key said Mr Xi gave a commitment to help New Zealand boost its exports to China.