The China-New Zealand relationship continues to deepen, almost seven years since the Free Trade Agreement was signed in Beijing. The benefits to New Zealand's export-dependent economy of greater access to the Chinese market are substantial.

Although China's economic growth has slowed from the very high rates of 2004 to 2011, Chinese investors continue to show keen interest in New Zealand investment opportunities across an increasingly wide range of sectors. For example, Beijing General Aviation Group recently acquired a 50% stake in New Zealand aviation firm Pacific Aerospace.

In the agricultural sector, Chinese investors are increasingly focusing on vertical integration of supply and marketing, rather than simple land ownership.

New Zealand's Asian story is broad. Last year, Japanese paper manufacturer Oji Holdings and Japanese government-backed investment fund Innovation Network Corporation of Japan purchased the pulp, paper and packaging business of Carter Holt Harvey for $1.037b. Juice Products New Zealand sold 80% of its shares to Japan's Sumitomo Corporation and biscuit-maker Griffins was sold to Philippines-based food giant Universal Robina Corporation for $700m.

The information in this article is for informative purposes only and should not be relied on as legal advice. Please contact Chapman Tripp for advice tailored to your situation.