12 Jul 2013

PM wary of dependency on China

6:45 pm on 12 July 2013

The Prime Minister says a strategy aimed at strengthening ties with South-east Asia is partly intended to ensure that New Zealand does not become too dependent on China.

The ASEAN strategy launched by John Key in Auckland on Friday aims to boost investment, trade and economic relations with the region.

Mr Key said New Zealand has a very good relationship with China, but needs to make sure it is also engaged with other countries and regions.

He said being entirely reliant on one market could leave New Zealand vulnerable if there were an economic slowdown in China and that is why it was important to strengthen trade, investment and economic ties with countries such as Indonesia, Thailand and Singapore.

However, Mr Key said the strategy is also about defence, as well as political and people-to-people relationships.