First visit to NZ by Indian president


President Shri Pranab Mukherjee of India has arrived in New Zealand for a three-day visit.

He arrived in Auckland this morning and was officially welcomed at Government House in the afternoon.

First visit to NZ by Indian president

President Mukherjee is welcomed to Government House (Getty)

It's the first state visit to New Zealand by an Indian president and he'll attend a state dinner this evening.

First visit to NZ by Indian president

President Mukherjee meets Governor-General Sir Jerry Mataparae (Getty)

Tomorrow he will lay a wreath at the Hall of Memories at the Auckland War Memorial Museum before heading to talks with Prime Minister John Key in the afternoon.

Mr Key has said the visit would be a good opportunity to continue to talk trade.

In 2011 Mr Key launched the NZ Inc India Strategy, a plan for India to become a core trade, economic and political partner for New Zealand.

Negotiations for a free trade agreement with India started in April 2010 and the last round finished in February 2015.

More than $1 billion in goods were traded between the two countries in 2014, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

More than 11,000 Indian students came to study in New Zealand in 2012, and another 29,000 Indian tourists visited that year.

There are also more than 160,000 people of Indian origin living in New Zealand.

Ahead of the visit, Indian media said several agreements were expected to be signed during the visit covering economic co-operation, education and connectivity.

Both sides see prospects for co-operation in agriculture, dairy, food processing, education and skill development as well as high technology.

One priority for business is establishing direct flights between the two countries.

NZN / Newshub.