India and New Zealand have seen a steady growth in bilateral trade, mostly in the tourism and education sectors, with business between the two countries reaching nearly $870 million in the past two years.
India is now New Zealand's 10th largest market, with exports worth 902.3 million New Zealand dollars for the year ending January 2011, while imports from India were valued at 366 million New Zealand dollars for the same period, according to the New Zealand ministry of foreign affairs and trade.
Coal has led the list of trade items with India in recent years and dairy products and fruit have recently become significant business items.
Sunny Kaushal, director of ANZ Wine Limited, said there has been an increase in interest in the Indian market among New Zealand's companies.
'India is a fast growing economy of more than 1.1 billion people. There are great opportunities for growth in trade between two countries and so an FTA (free trade agreement) would be a valuable platform to build that trade,' he said.
Richard Howard, former chairman of the New Zealand Association for Migration and Investment, said: 'I am sure part of the increase in trade between New Zealand and India can be directly attributed to the personal and professional relationships, which have developed from the significant increase in education, tourism and migration that New Zealand has experienced from India especially in the past five years.'