Trade and Agriculture Minister travels to India and Gulf States to build relationships
Trade & Export Growth and Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor will depart for India on Saturday for bilateral talks to advance the economic relationship, from 27-29 August.
He will then travel to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates from 29 August – 1 September, for discussions on trade and economic matters with his Ministerial and Gulf Cooperation Council counterparts.
“This will be my second visit to India in less than a year, and the fourth Ministerial visit to deepen our relationship since the borders re-opened,” Damien O’Connor said.
“India is the world’s most populous country. It has the fifth largest economy and is growing at a faster rate than any other G20 economy.
“My trip to India is about injecting real momentum into a relationship that is key to New Zealand’s export growth and prosperity. I look forward to meeting with my Ministerial counterparts to agree priorities for our economic cooperation in primary industries, tourism, and education.
“In Delhi I will be reconnecting with Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal, with whom I met on my visit last year and have also spoken with on the side-lines of several multi-lateral events abroad.
“The visit also sees me meeting with my agricultural counterparts Minister of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying Hon Parshottam Rupala and Minister of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare Hon Narendra Singh Tomar. I believe there's good opportunity to increase cooperation between our agricultural and horticultural sectors.
“The India-New Zealand Business Delegation coincides with my visit and presents an excellent opportunity to support their work. It’s fantastic to see such a large delegation that sees 50 kiwi business leaders heading to India. It’s an indication of the importance New Zealand businesses places in deepening our relationship with India.
“I will also be making a speech to the Confederation of Indian Industry on the importance of developing a long-term relationship together through cultural, business, economic, and people-to-people links.”
While in the Gulf region, Damien O'Connor will meet with the Secretary-General of the Gulf Cooperation Council, and his Ministerial counterparts in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.
"Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates are our two largest export markets for in the region, and free trade agreement negotiations continue with the Gulf Cooperation Council, of which they are members," Damien O'Connor said.
"This travel will build on and further develop our strong trading relationships with key Gulf nations, including as part of our trade diversification efforts."
The United Arab Emirates will also be hosting the World Trade Organisation Ministerial Conference 13 (MC13) early next year.
“This visit provides the opportunity to discuss how New Zealand, working with our UAE hosts, can secure substantial outcomes from that meeting. Strengthening the multilateral rules-based system is vital to our export growth,” Damien O’Connor said.