NEW Zealand trade minister Todd McClay is travelling to India and Singapore with a goal to advance NZ’s relationships with the two countries.

Mr McClay was due to depart on 18 December to meet with his trade counterparts Piyush Goyal in India and Gan Kim Yong in Singapore.

Mr McClay said India and Singapore are two key partners in the Indo-Pacific region.

“The relationship with India is a strategic priority for the coalition government, and we will look at how to strengthen this important connection across a range of areas,” he said.

“Meeting in person with minister Goyal will be essential for developing a strong partnership that enhances opportunities for both our countries.”

Mr McClay plans to deliver a speech on the NZ government’s ambition for the relationship with India, and participate in a moderated discussion with G20 Sherpa, Amitabh Kant, in front of an audience of national business and community leaders.

Mr McClay is then due to travel to Singapore before returning to NZ on 21 December.

“Singapore is our most significant trading partner in Southeast Asia and a critical hub for New Zealand supply lines,” he said.

“They are a key likeminded partner on the importance of international trade rules.

“Establishing a strong relationship early with minister Gan will be invaluable as we continue to strengthen the New Zealand – Singapore Enhanced Partnership.

“Singapore’s innovative and open approach to international trade has made us natural partners on issues such as the green economy and supply chain management.”