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Press Release: New Zealand Government
30 October 1998
China has agreed to lift its ban on fruit imports from New Zealand, Foreign Minister Don McKinnon announced from Shanghai on Friday.
The announcement followed Mr McKinnon's meeting with Chinese State Councillor, Wu Yi on Thursday. The ban had been imposed by China following finds of fruitfly in Auckland in 1996, and affected fruit from the North Island, except for the Bay of Plenty.
"This is excellent news for New Zealand fruitgrowers. It removes a major disruption to our export trade," the Minister said.
"The lifting of the ban is effective immediately."
Mr McKinnon said China was a significant developing market for New Zealand fruit with an emerging affluent middle class desiring a greater range of consumer items.
For the June 1996 year, New Zealand exported $1.75 million of fruit to China; $1.6 million ( June 1997 year ) and $6.48 million (to June 1998).
"Lifting the ban means fruit exporters throughout New Zealand can now reap the benefits of a successful developing market," Mr McKinnon concluded.