New Zealand ' />

Trade talks with Hong Kong resume in Wellington this week and Trade Minister Tim Groser says he's hoping for positive steps forward.

New Zealand and Hong Kong started Closer Economic Partnership negotiations in 2001 but they were suspended in 2002.

With the conclusion of the New Zealand-China free trade agreement, the way has been cleared for them to resume.

"Hong Kong is a very important partner for New Zealand, both commercially and strategically as a key services and investment hub for the north Asia region," said Groser.

"More secure and open access to the Hong Kong market will place New Zealand in a good strategic position to capitalise on new trade and investment opportunities in this region, including into China."

Groser said re-engaging with Hong Kong would send a positive signal to the region.

"Our message to the global economy is that New Zealand remains open for business."

- NZPA