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New High Commissioner To India

New Zealand's next High Commissioner to India will be Caroline McDonald, Foreign Affairs Minister Phil Goff announced today.

"The relationship between India and New Zealand continues to grow stronger and trade between the two countries is expanding.

"India is expected to become one of our top 20 trading partners in the near future. Exports totalled over $180 million in the year to December 2000.

"New Zealand and India links also come from a shared heritage of parliamentary democracy, membership of the Commonwealth and sporting ties," Mr Goff said.

Mr Goff said India's 'Look East' policy and its participation as a dialogue partner with ASEAN and in the ASEAN Regional Forum is bringing increasing Indian involvement in a region where New Zealand is also closely engaged.

"New Zealand is becoming a popular destination for Indian tourists, students and film-makers. The level of Ministerial visits in both directions has been increasing. My own visit in March gave me an opportunity to experience first hand the high level of recognition of New Zealand that exists in different parts of India," Mr Goff said.

Ms McDonald joined the Ministry in 1977. She has had overseas postings to Suva, Apia, London and most recently Port Vila, where she was High Commissioner from 1996 to 1999. After her return to Wellington she was Deputy Director of the Development Cooperation Division, and then of the North Asia Division.

She will take up her new position in May, replacing Adrian Simcock whose appointment as High Commissioner of Fiji was announced recently.

ENDS

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