New Zealand, India ink two agreements

Written by fe Bureau | New Delhi | Updated: Jun 29 2011, 06:47am hrs
New Zealand Prime Minister John Key said on Tuesday that his country was aiming to seal a free trade agreement (FTA) with India by March 2012. The FTA negotiations began in April 2010 and there have been five rounds of talks so far.

The visiting New Zealand prime minister, along with a 25-member strong business delegation, participated in bilateral talks with his counterpart Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and addressed industry captains here on Tuesday. At the end of delegation-level talks, two agreements for further initiatives in filming and education were signed between the two countries.

Addressing the industry captains, Key sought greater cooperation in the areas of IT, agriculture, food processing and dairy farming.

Our partnership is growing and that is the reason we are very keen for the progress in the FTA. We hope that we will complete that (FTA) by 2012, Key said at the luncheon meeting with business leaders.

He also emphasised the need to increase people-to-people contact and invited more Indian students to New Zealand.

Speaking on the occasion, commerce and industry minister Anand Sharma invited investments in sectors like renewable energy, infrastructure, agro-processing and IT.

Appreciating the state-of-the-art technology being used by the dairy and renewable energy industries in New Zealand, Sharma asked for bringing such technology to India.

Sharma said the two countries could benefit from deeper cooperation in post-harvest technologies, logistic management for the agriculture sector, wind and geo-thermal energy, tourism, films, pharmaceuticals, education, IT enabled services and financial services.

Key will leave for Mumbai on Wednesday on a days visit, marking the conclusion of his four-day visit to India.