11 Apr 2013

PM says visa change good for businesses

9:02 am on 11 April 2013

Prime Minister John Key says a new arrangement between China and New Zealand will reduce the cost of business travel.

In Beijing on Wednesday Mr Key and China's Premier Li Keqiang signed a suite of agreements aimed at strengthening business, science and education ties between the two countries.

From July this year, New Zealand business visitors to China will be able to get three-year multiple-entry visas that allow them to stay for up to 30 days on any one visit.

Chinese business visitors to New Zealand will also get three-year multiple entry visas and be able to stay for a maximum of 90 days in any 12-month period.

Mr Key says some of the business people the delegation has met travel to China every month.

"They've been talking quite a lot about why it is necessary to be on the ground and to continue to work on their operations so for them they'll be pretty pleased about it."

There will also be co-operation on food safety and the two governments will work more closely to stem the flow of drugs smuggled into New Zealand from China for use in making methamphetamine.

An updated scientist exchange programme will involve 10 scientists from each country, and New Zealand will appoint a new science and innovation counsellor to China.