Home /  News /  New Zealand

'definitely my 1st year': luxon on india visit if elected PM

National leader Chris Luxon at Auckland-based cement business Cemix

Chris Luxon on Wednesday reiterated a visit to India will be among his top priorities if he were to become New Zealand’s prime minister after General Election 2023.

The National Party leader pointed out “we haven't built relationships in India as we should have”, and said New Zealand has failed to tap into the country’s huge promise and potential.

“India is a country I love a lot, and when I went to Unilever, I spent a lot of time there…I want to pursue deeper trading relationships with India, and I'll definitely be going there in my first year.”

National's Chris Luxon interacts with officials and workers

Luxon made the remarks while speaking to the media on September 13, 2023, as he visited the office of Onehunga-based local business Cemix on an election outreach trip.

“India is a very high priority on my list. India is the most populous country on Earth, and by 2030, it will be the third-largest economy in the world.

“Sadly, under this Labour government, two-way trade with India has gone from $2.8 billion down to $2.3 billion. Compared to a trade for a similar-sized population in China, it's $40 billion.

“So, sadly, what's happened is New Zealand has been very inward-looking, very isolated and very insular over the last six years, and we haven't been out in the world hustling and doing business for New Zealand,” he said.

Luxon pointed out that even during the Covid-19 pandemic, Australia did an early-harvest Free Trade Agreement and how the British, the Canadians and the Europeans are doing similar things.

He will face Labour leader Chris Hipkins in the first leaders' debate on September 19. When asked about the same, he said, “Chris Hipkins is a 20-year career politician. He's a champion debater. He's probably the best debater in our Parliament and probably in New Zealand.

“I haven't even done a debate before…so I lose a lot to my wife. So I must tell you now I'm looking forward to it. It'll be fun, but I'll tell you what the country needs is not a great debater. What they need is a great manager.”

Luxon also said Labour’s economic mismanagement had created a dire economic situation in New Zealand. “This is domestic inflation, not international inflation. We've got a whole bunch of economic things to deal with going forward.

"The reality of all of that is that the cost of living crisis has rumbled on far longer, people have been impacted by high inflation and high-interest rates, we see an economy that has flat and slow growth…

“All it says to me is that Labour has no idea how to run the economy… spending is in their DNA. We would rebuild this economy, it's our number one priority. New Zealanders deserve a government that knows how to run an economy so we don't cause pain and suffering for Kiwis up and down this country. We've also got to open up our immigration settings.”

Greg Fleming, National Party's candidate from Maungakiekie, who accompanied Luxon on Wednesday, told The Indian Weekender, "It is so encouraging to see how supportive our leader and the person who will be our next PM is about local business.

“He was genuinely excited about being at the business, interacting with the workers, and knowing more about them and their workplace. He knows firsthand that businesses drive the economy, and it was awesome to see how invested Mr Luxon is about getting NZ back on track.”

Related Posts