New Zealand dairy giant Fonterra says it's forming a partnership with China's Beingmate to help meet growing demand for infant formula in the world's most populous nation.

Fonterra, the world's largest dairy exporter, on Wednesday said it planned to take a stake of up to 20 percent in Beingmate, an infant food company based in Hangzhou.

Fonterra Chief Executive Theo Spierings says the partnership will be a "game-changer" that will provide a direct line into China's infant formula market.

Fonterra is New Zealand's largest company, with annual revenue of $16 billion. It's a cooperative owned by farmers.

In a separate announcement Wednesday, Fonterra says it plans to invest 555 million New Zealand dollars ($463 million) in building a new high-efficiency milk powder drying plant in New Zealand.