(WALL STREET JOURNAL) — WELLINGTON, New Zealand — Seeking to help its exporters, New Zealand is negotiating with China to make their currencies directly convertible, a spokeswoman for Prime Minister John Key said.

Wellington’s push is aimed at driving down costs for companies that do business with China, which is close to overtaking Australia as New Zealand’s No. 1 trading partner.

Talks are in the “very early stages” and “progressing,” the spokeswoman said, adding that the issue had been brought up during Mr. Key’s visit to China last month.

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