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Assessing the Economic Impact of North-South Free Trade Agreements -- China-New Zealand Free Trade Agreement and China-Australia Free Trade Agreement

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posted on 2021-11-10, 02:21 authored by Zhou, Jinzhu

This research develops a model of assessing the economic impact of free trade agreements (FTAs) between developed countries and developing countries (north-south FTAs). This model goes beyond the conventional studies that use static effects in traditional gains as primary indicators of the economic impact, and incorporates dynamics effects as well as non-traditional gains for a more accurate assessment. The research uses China's north-south FTAs, namely, China's FTA with New Zealand - the first comprehensive FTA that China has signed with a developed country - and the proposed FTA between China and Australia. Both cases provide an ideal empirical basis for testing the proposed model. After introduction of the research problem, design and methodology, Part I of the study provides a general discussion of the FTAs between China and New Zealand, and China and Australia as a background to the research. Part II starts with the conventional model of traditional gains. It first demonstrates how the static effect of the north-south FTA is analyzed in Robson's three-country model. It shows that in his model, the trade creation effect is dominant in the free trade area. The study then introduces the concept of dynamic effect of traditional gains. The study first uses the Revealed Comparative Advantage (RCA) index to analyse the competition effect of trade in goods by industries among China, New Zealand and Australia. It then discusses the competition effect of trade in services in categories through Trade Competitive Power (TC) indexes. The study further examines the effect of investment creation after the China-New Zealand FTA and China-Australia FTA entered into force. The findings of this section on the dynamic effect are that China would have negative impact on cattle husbandry, forestry, mining and some categories of services which are also the industries that New Zealand and Australia would further develop in China's market. In Part III, the study discusses non-traditional gains as important indicators of the economic impact of FTAs. It incorporates the hub & spoke theory (H&S) with Regional Trade Agreements (RTAs) strategies of China, New Zealand and Australia. The study shows that the north-south FTAs are important components for both developed countries and developing countries' RTAs strategies. The China-New Zealand FTA and the proposed China-Australia FTA are the wedges between China and the advanced economies system. Meanwhile, the China-New Zealand FTA will be a model for future north-south FTAs involving China. This thesis contributes to our understanding of the complicated and dynamic relationship between FTAs among countries of different levels of economic development and their overall economic growth and development. It also adds to our knowledge about how this relationship can be better analyzed and explained.


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Date of Award



Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

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Author Retains Copyright

Degree Discipline

International Relations

Degree Grantor

Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

Degree Level


Degree Name

Master of Arts

Victoria University of Wellington Item Type

Awarded Research Masters Thesis



Victoria University of Wellington School

School of History, Philosophy, Political Science and International Relations


Huang, Xiaoming