India is a growing market for New Zealand. Currently the second most populous country in the world, India is expected to surpass China’s population by 2025. There is significant potential for market growth into this sector, as has been seen by increasing exports in recent years.


Quick Facts

  • In the 2012 year there was $286 million exported to India from Christchurch ports
  • Exports from Christchurch ports to India have been increasing recently: by 17 percent on average each year between 2000 and 2012
  • In 2012, there were 689 international students in Canterbury, down from 1,098 in 2010. This is the fourth-largest market for Christchurch. Most of these students were in Private Training Establishments (514) or polytechnics (150)

Market Trends and Projects

Increasing Trade with India

The volume of trade to India has been increasing dramatically, by 17 percent on average each year between 2000 and 2012. 34 percent of exports to India from New Zealand in 2012 went through Christchurch ports. It is difficult to assess what commodities India is importing (most are listed as ’confidential items’). The largest known item was wool at $17 million, followed by dairy at $14 million.

Food Preferences

India is a diverse nation, with every major religion represented. Around 80 percent of the population is Hindu. Many who follow the Hindu religion believe vegetarianism is ideal, and many adhere to a strict vegetarian diet. Some parts of India are not vegetarian, allowing fish and some meat, but the animal must be slaughtered in a particular way. These preferences impact on New Zealand’s ability to export meat, in particular beef, and seafood. Study into Indian consumption preferences, and how these may be changing, would be necessary to promote large-scale food export into India.

NZ Inc. India Strategy and Free Trade Agreement

Negotiations towards a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with India were announced in January 2010 and have continued at intervals of six months or less.

In October 2011, the NZ Inc. India Strategy was launched with several broad goals that a Free Trade Agreement could help to achieve:

  • Grow merchandise exports to at least NZ$2 billion per year by 2015
  • Grow services trade by an average of 20 percent per year
  • Improve the bilateral investment framework and facilitate growth in the investment relationship
  • Attract and retain skilled migrants from India who are able to make an effective contribution to New Zealand’s economic base

Source: Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT)