Prime Minister John Key leaves for China on Friday to meet with the country's new president and lead New Zealand's biggest trade delegation there so far.
Five years after a free trade agreement was signed with China, it is now New Zealand's second biggest trading partner with exports and imports worth about $7 billion respectively last year.
Mr Key will attend this weekend's Boao Forum For Asia, which promotes regional economic integration, and will talk with the president, Xi Jinping.
Further trade, tourism and education opportunities are on the agenda and Mr Key says enormous progress has been made in 40 years of diplomatic relations and in the five years since the signing of the free trade agreement.
The mission of more than 100 people includes cabinet ministers and leaders from the government and business sectors.