An agreement was signed Thursday in Shanghai as part of Prime Minister John Key's tour of China.

The agreement between the New Zealand China Trade Association (NZCTA) and The Shanghai Entrepreneurs Association aims to foster relationships between the two parties.

"We want to aim to try and encourage Shanghai entrepreneurs to come over to New Zealand and invest here," said the vice chairman of the NZCTA, Jonathan Watt.

"We also hope our companies would be able to go there [Shanghai] and find business opportunities."

The agreement has been in the works since July 2013 and executive board member at NZCTA, Angela Meng-Yee said both parties were eager to sign.

"It's about investing in the future and fast tracking relationships."

Meng-Yee said the parties want to set up a scholarship with a business university over there and create a linkage between "our members and their members."

The Shanghai Entrepreneurs Association is a kind of 'millionaires club' for Chinese corporations and individuals and the NZCTA aims to strengthen relationships between New Zealand and China through trade opportunities and relationship initiatives. This agreement being one of them.


Watt says this agreement is important because of the "prestige, value and publicity it's going to generate." He says John Key's dinner with the Premier of the People's Rupublic of China, Li Keqiang will become more important and more elevated because of the agreement.

"We've been planning this agreement for a long time and we coincided it with the prime minister's tour of China. We hope it will create more opportunities in Shanghai."

The agreement is a memorandum of understanding which means it is binding but not legal. It represents mutual agreement on an issue.