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Our relationship with India

India and New Zealand have a longstanding, friendly and growing relationship. Our ties go back to the 1890s when the first immigrants from Punjab and Gujarat came to New Zealand. Indian troops fought alongside the Anzacs in Gallipoli in 1915. And of course we’ve been long-time sporting rivals on the cricket pitch. There are more than 220,000 New Zealanders of Indian descent. 65,000 Indians visited New Zealand in the year to November 2019, and more than 17,000 Indian students currently study in New Zealand.

Our relationship with India is a priority for New Zealand and its importance to New Zealand is growing. India’s strong economy, large population and international influence make it a key partner in the Indo-Pacific region. It also represents enormous potential for our exporters.

Both our countries have an interest in the prosperity and stability of the Indo-Pacific region, and actively participate in the East Asia Summit and the ASEAN Regional Forum. India is a Post Forum Dialogue partner in the Pacific Islands Forum. We also connect as members of a number of international organisations including the United Nations, the World Trade Organization, and the Commonwealth.

Trade

Year to September 2019 statistics (NZ$)

Total two-way trade in goods and services

$2.64 billion

 

Goods exports to India

$695 million 

Top exports: wood, coal, wool, aluminium and fruit

Goods imports from India

$751 million

Top imports: pharmaceuticals, precious metals and jewellery, machinery, textiles and apparel

GDP

$4,679 billion

 
GDP per capita (nominal) $4,679  
GDP growth  4.8%  

 

India is expected to be one of the major economic forces in Asia in coming decades, driven by its large and youthful population and by sustained economic growth. New Zealand and India enjoy a growing trade relationship and concluding a free trade agreement with India is a priority.

We have taken significant steps in our trade and economic relationship over the past five years. Services trade has doubled, to $1.2 billion, and this has helped take total trade (goods and services) to around $2.64 billion. Tourism has likewise more than doubled since 2011, with over 65,000 Indian tourists visiting New Zealand in the year to November 2019. India is New Zealand’s second largest source of international students, with over 17,000 Indian students studying in New Zealand.

There are also opportunities to grow exports in areas such as professional services, in-country provision of education, healthcare, and aviation.

Free trade agreements with India

We're negotiating a free trade agreement with India:

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

India strategy

India is a priority relationship for New Zealand.  There are huge opportunities to expand our relationship with India – not just in trade, but in our common support for international law, multilateralism, and our shared interest in the Pacific. We want to cement long term sustainable opportunities to the benefit of both of our economies and both of our peoples.

India-New Zealand 2025: Investing in the Relationship [PDF, 5.7 MB] sets out a framework for New Zealand Government agencies and partners to grow the relationship with India over the next five years. We will work closely with Māori, our Indian communities, businesses, academics and research institutions to help achieve the strategy’s goals.

Education

The New Zealand India Research Institute (external link) is a consortium of scholars actively engaged in research on India in New Zealand universities.

Aid

Students from India can apply for Commonwealth Scholarships for postgraduate study in New Zealand. Find out more and see if you are eligible here.

Embassies

Recent official visits

New Zealand to India
  • January 2020: Minister Iain Lees-Galloway visited Mumbai.
  • November 2019: Minister Damien O'Connor visited New Delhi, Mumbai and Gujarat.
  • October 2016: Prime Minister John Key visited India with a large business delegation.
  • September 2015: Minister Amy Adams visited India with a clean technology business delegation.
  • November 2014: Minister Michael Woodhouse visited Mumbai to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with six key Indian tour operators under the Tourism Industry Partnership programme
  • November 2014: Minister Nathan Guy led a business delegation to Mumbai and New Delhi in the lead up to the Cricket World Cup co-hosted by New Zealand
  • November 2013:  Foreign Affairs Minister Murray McCully attended the Asia-Europe meeting
  • June 2013: Foreign Affairs Minister Murray McCully visited New Delhi for high level engagement across the bilateral relationship
India to New Zealand
  • April 2017: CEO of the National Institution for the Transformation of India (Niti Aayog) Amitabh Kant visited New Zealand as a Prime Minister’s Sir Edmund Hillary Fellow
  • April 2016: Indian President Mukherjee undertook the first ever official visit of an Indian President to New Zealand.
  • June 2015: Indian Minister of Skills Development and Entrepreneurship led a Parliamentary delegation to New Zealand to build links with New Zealand parliamentarians and to discuss opportunities for collaboration in skills development
  • July 2013: Minister of Human Resource Development, Education, Dr MM Pallam Raju visited to discuss the education relationship through the India-New Zealand Education Council
  • April 2012: Speaker of the Lok Sabha, Meira Kumar and a group of Indian Members of Parliament came to New Zealand as guests of the New Zealand Parliament
  • September 2011: Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Preneet Kaur, participated in the Pacific Islands Forum (PIF) post-Forum Dialogue

News & Events

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