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

“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 says.

While in India Mr Bridges and Mr Brownlee will be accompanied by 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.

In China they will be accompanied by Jian Yang and will visit Shanghai, Beijing and Xiamen. They will attend the 21st China International Fair for Investment and Trade (CIFIT) where they will open the New Zealand Pavilion. Mr Bridges will also speak at The Belt and Road Agricultural Products and Material (E-Business) Trading Fair and address the New Zealand Studies Centre, Xiamen University.

“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,” Mr Bridges says.

“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 pursuing 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.”

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