27 Jun 2011

PM to push free-trade talks with India

7:21 am on 27 June 2011

Prime Minister John Key says a free-trade deal with India would open the door for New Zealand producers to export significant volumes of dairy products and meat to one of the world's fastest-growing economies.

Mr Key arrived in India on Sunday to advance free trade talks, accompanied by a 28-strong business delegation.


Two-way trade with India is at present worth about $1 billion a year. The aim is to treble that by 2014.

Mr Key says the potential market in India is huge, due to its enormous population and growing demand from the middle class and hotel industry.

He says the pressure to provide food for its more than 1 billion people is a major driver for India to seek trade with New Zealand.

Mr Key says New Zealand wants to see tariffs significantly reduced for its main export products.

Compared with New Zealand, India imposes high tariffs on agricultural goods - for example a 30% tariff on meat.

"We have huge problems in terms of access for meat into that market," Mr Key says."We're not exporting chilled lamb into India"

The Prime Minister says the talks are progressing well and the aim is to have a free trade deal concluded by next year.