Leader of the Opposition Simon Bridges and National Party’s Foreign Affairs spokesperson Gerry Brownlee will depart today to visit India.

“National understands the importance of trade and building relationships with our international partners.

“During this visit, we will meet and talk with New Zealand businesses, hear about new trade opportunities and promote trade between our countries,” Mr Bridges said.

 While in India Mr Bridges and Mr Brownlee will be accompanied by Kiwi-Indian MP Kanwaljit Singh Bakshi and will stay in New Delhi and visit Amritsar. They will attend the Namaste Pacific event hosted by the New Zealand High Commission. They will also meet with New Zealand businesses operating in India and meet with members of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Government.

“China and India make up 35 per cent of the world’s population. By 2050 China and India are expected to be the two largest economies in the world. We need to ensure that we’re open for business with these important markets.

 “This week National released our Economic Discussion Document where we proposed committing to doubling our two-way trade with China from $30 billion to $60 billion over the next decade. We also committed to aggressively pursue free trade agreements in new markets and questioned whether we should eliminate all remaining tariffs on imports.

“This trip will help us form our trade policies. We will strengthen our diplomatic relationships, show our support for New Zealand business, foster relationships and reinforce our long friendly relationships with these countries,” Mr Bridges said.