Team Blitz India
NEW DELHI: New Zealand’s Prime Minister-elect, Christopher Luxon, is keen to visit India soon and resume dialogue for a free trade agreement (FTA) that got stalled some eight years ago, according to reports.
He is been quoted mentioning that India has been predicted to become the third-largest economy by the Financial Year 2028. According to Luxon, visiting the South Asian giant would be a “priority” for him. He has also talked about “prioritising” his country’s trade relations with India, the reports added.
The Conservative leader is all set to be the country’s next Prime Minister after his National Party emerged as the winner on Saturday, October 14.
Even during the election campaign, Luxon and his party called out the previous Liberal Party government for not developing ties with India to its fullest.
For over one year, the PM-elect has been talking about the need to restart FTA talks with India. New Zealand intends to lessen its dependence on China for trade.
Bilateral goods trade with New Zealand reached pre-pandemic levels only last fiscal. Goods trade stood at $1.01 billion in FY19, $900 million in FY20, $867 million in FY21, $862 million in FY22 and $1.02 in FY23.
New Zealand’s total bilateral trade with India (goods and services) is worth over $2 billion, compared to approximately $40 billion with China.