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New Zealand PM to visit India

06-13-2011 16:33 BJT

WELLINGTON, June 13 (Xinhua) -- New Zealand Prime Minister John Key will lead a 25-strong business delegation to India this month to develop an "already strong relationship" and boost two-way trade, the New Zealand government announced Monday.

Key will also be accompanied by Minister of Trade Tim Groser, said a statement from the government.

"India is a rapidly rising player in the Asia-Pacific region, and we want to build on our already strong economic, social and sporting ties. This visit demonstrates the value New Zealand places on the relationship," said Key.

"Leading such a diverse and high-profile delegation to visit India's largest cities is exciting, and will open many doors for New Zealand business."

Key will meet Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in New Delhi, and discussion is likely to focus on making progress on the New Zealand-India Free Trade Agreement (FTA) negotiations.

"The trade potential of the Indian market is huge and we have set a target of growing two-way trade from 1.28 billion NZ dollars to 3 billion NZ dollars (815 million to 2.44 billion U.S. dollars) by 2014," said Key.

"We want greater engagement across a range of sectors, including science and innovation, Bollywood-New Zealand film co-productions, defence, tourism and education," said Key.

He will also promote the government's India strategy aimed to position India as a core political, economic and trade partner for New Zealand by 2015.

"The key to this strategy is to successfully negotiate an FTA with India - one of our top trade negotiating priorities. This will help expand businesses, create jobs and result in a stronger New Zealand economy," said Key.

The delegation will leave New Zealand on June 26 and return July 1, and visit New Delhi, Agra and Mumbai.

Editor:Yang Jie |Source: Xinhua

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