Food safety, science and film production are the latest areas to benefit from New Zealand's free trade agreement (FTA) with China.

In the two years since New Zealand signed the FTA with China it has gone from our fourth to second largest trading partner.

But Prime Minister John Key, who arrived in Beijing today and travels to Shanghai tomorrow, sees more potential.

Today he announced new agreements that would strengthen cooperation between the two countries.

The film co-production agreement will allow film makers to access funding available for national movies.

It will also facilitate temporary immigration and equipment importation within the existing regulations.

The agreement covers movies made for cinemas or television and is the first of its kind signed with China.

Discussions have begun for a similar agreement over television co-production.

The film agreement would offer greater certainty to investors looking to fund New Zealand-China co-productions, Mr Key said.

Film projects would have to be approved to gain official co-production status.

"New Zealand film makers are increasingly interested in partnering with Chinese film makers and in telling stories of interest to both cultures," Mr Key said.

There has also been positive cooperation between the two countries over food safety, he said.

Under the food safety cooperation agreement scholarships, study tours, seminars, research funding and training in dairy industry systems had taken place.

Today cattle breeders Te Mania and food safety packaging firm FoodCap signed an agreement with Chinese investment company Kerchin.

"This new farm-to-retail partnership introduces New Zealand food safety technology that is new to China," Mr Key said.

New Zealand's ambassador Carl Worker and Chinese Vice Minister of Science and Technology Cao Jianlin signed today a strategic research alliance to link education, research and markets.

Mr Key said the cooperation between countries would ensure research results returned economic results.

"China is now one of New Zealand's top 10 partners for scientific collaboration and enhanced cooperation had the potential to deliver real benefits for both partners," Mr said.

Mr Key will meet Premier Wen Jiabao this afternoon and will discuss the progress made since the FTA.

In Shanghai Mr Key will visit the New Zealand pavilion at the World Expo.

- NZPA