WELLINGTON, April 17 (Xinhua) -- New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern on Tuesday said she was "greatly heartened" by positive comments made by French President Emmanuel Macron on the proposed New Zealand European Free Trade Agreement (FTA) following the bilateral meeting.
The two leaders met for the first time at an hour-long meeting at Elysee Palace on Tuesday.
"One of my key objectives in visiting Paris was the European Union FTA," Ardern said in a statement.
"New Zealand has been seeking a mandate for some time. We anticipated that given the vote was coming soon, that we needed to build support for that mandate as broadly as possible," Ardern said.
The EU is due to discuss the mandate for the New Zealand EU FTA at a meeting later next month, which represents 15 billion NZ dollars (11 billion U.S. dollars) worth of trade.
"We know there have been roadblocks in the past, but the sense I have come away with today is that our focus on building an agreement that models environmental standards and social outcomes is something France is very much in support of," she said.
The two leaders also agreed to cooperate on promoting climate-friendly agricultural technologies and processes.