12 Jul 2010

NZ and China in talks on joint farm ventures

2:57 pm on 12 July 2010

The New Zealand Government has held discussions with the government of China over joint ventures in agriculture in other countries.

No specific third countries have been mentioned, although South America has been cited as an example.

Prime Minister John Key says such ventures would take advantage of New Zealand's agricultural expertise and the billions of dollars China has available to invest.

Former trade minister and current head of the Asia New Zealand Foundation, Philip Burdon, says the idea is a good one in principle, but may have 'fish-hooks'.

Federated Farmers says the scheme has some merit but there needs to be more work done in developing underutilised agricultural land in New Zealand.

President Don Nicolson says New Zealanders already invest in foreign farms in Uruguay.

He says there is nothing unique in selling systems to other countries, but the Government need not get involved as the free market can work on its own.