India on Tuesday urged New Zealand to transfer its state-of-the-art technology and make investments in the country's $200-billion agro-food processing industry to enhance bilateral economic engagement and expand trade relationship.

“The two economies are essentially complementary and there is considerable potential to increase bilateral trade and economic relations. It is time to give depth to our partnership,'' Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma said while addressing a luncheon meeting with visiting New Zealand Prime Minister John Key at a business summit organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry and the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry.

Mr. Sharma said India was keen to benefit from New Zealand's advanced technology in dairy, renewable energy and agro-food industries.

The Commerce and Industry Minister further stated that the two countries had a longstanding and positive bilateral relationship. The two economies were essentially complementary and there was considerable potential to increase bilateral trade and economic relations. “India is looking forward to partner with New Zealand in the infrastructure sector, agro-food processing, renewable energy and IT,'' he remarked.

He appreciated the state-of-the-art technology being used by the dairy industry and the renewal energy sector and asked for bringing such technology to India. He also appreciated New Zealand for taking forward the Doha development round and believing in the rule-based and rule-governed multilateral system.

Addressing the meeting, Mr. Key said New Zealand was keen to boost trade and investment with India. “It is a two-way partnership. Our trade and investment is growing. There are opportunities for both countries to further increase it,'' Mr. Key said.

India and New Zealand are negotiating a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) and the two countries are hopeful to conclude the deal by early next year. Bilateral trade between the two countries rose by 7.83 per cent to $812.94 million in 2010-11. India's exports to New Zealand were $191.39 million and New Zealand's exports to India were $621.55 million. Bilateral trade has more than trebled during the last five years.

Mr. Key said the two countries had a lot of untapped potential and the proposed FTA would give a big push to bilateral trade and investment.

More In: Economy | Business