Our relationship with South Asia

Our relations with South Asian countries are friendly and include a shared Commonwealth heritage, a love of cricket, and trade. Due to Sir Edmund Hillary’s legacy we enjoy a special, continuing connection with Nepal. Recognising India as one of the largest and fastest growing economies in the world, the New Zealand Government has a strategy to strengthen our economic, political and security relationships with India by 2015.

The potential for conflict between and within countries in the region is significant. Along with the potential for terrorism, there are implications for regional security. New Zealand works, often within multilateral groups, to promote security, peace, democracy, and respect for human rights in the wider region. We also work together to combat climate change.

Formal connections

New Zealand’s formal connections with South Asian countries include our work with international organisations such as the United Nations (UN), World Trade Organisation (WTO) and regional organisations such as the Asian Development Bank (ADB), the East Asia Summit (EAS) and Asian Regional Forum (ARF). 

Trade

India is an increasingly important trading partner and talks have been underway since April 2010 to establish a free trade agreement. Trade with other South Asian countries is relatively small. Exports are dominated by primary produce, while imported goods are largely made up of clothing and textiles.

Trade agreements

We're negotiating a free trade agreement with India

We're also negotiating a regional free trade agreement that includes India:

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