New Delhi, Sep 24: India and New Zealand held foreign office consultations in Wellington Monday on their bilateral ties and exchanged views on global and regional issues.
The Indian delegation was led by Sanjay Singh, secretary (East) in the external affairs ministry, while the New Zealand delegation was led by John Allen, chief executive and secretary, ministry of foreign affairs and trade.
The two sides also exchanged views on their relations in the areas of trade and investment, education, science and technology, cultural affairs and people to people links, according to a statement here.
The discussions focused on the potential for enhancing bilateral cooperation and implementing decisions taken during Prime Minister John Key’s visit to India in June 2011. They also discussed cooperation between India and New Zealand in multilateral fora.
Prior to the consultations, Sanjay Singh called on New Zealand Foreign Affairs Minister Murray McCully, the statement added.
India and New Zealand last held foreign office consultations in New Delhi in April 2010.
The bilateral trade has been growing steadily, reaching nearly $1.325 billion in 2011.
The two countries are also negotiating a Free Trade Agreement. The negotiations for FTA began in April 2010 and the two sides have held eight rounds of talks so far.
There are about 110,000 people of Indian origin living in New Zealand, mostly from Gujarat (over 80 percent) and Punjab. At the end of December 2011, there were over 12,000 Indian students in that country.