2 Feb 2010

NZ - India trade talks begin

10:49 pm on 2 February 2010

Trade Minister Tim Groser says India will be an important trading partner for New Zealand in coming years, as the two countries start bilateral trade talks.

Mr Groser pointed to the early gains from an agreement with China, which is likely to surpass Japan as the world's second biggest economy this year.

Exports to China expanded by 43% to $3.6 billion last year, just behind the United States.

India is New Zealand's 13th largest export market and bought $630 million worth of goods and services last year. Mr Groser says the potential of greater trade ties with another fast growing economy is immense.

The Wellington Regional Chamber of Commerce is also upbeat about the commencement of talks.

Chief executive Charles Finny says India has already demonstrated it's a market with real potential for New Zealand.

Mr Finny says the Free Trade Agreement with China took three years to achieve and he's hopeful one with India can be achieved quicker.