Originally at: http://www.hindu.com/thehindu/holnus/006200707270385.htm
New Zealand began the process of negotiating a free trade agreement with six Persian Gulf nations.
The first round of talks with the Gulf Cooperation Council get underway in Wellington on Thursday, with discussions between officials.
The six nations are Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates and Oman.
New Zealand Trade Minister, Phil Goff, said the Gulf States represent a major New Zealand trading partner, particularly for food and beverages.
New Zealand exports to the Gulf totalled almost 800 million NZ dollars (US$640 million) last year, and have increased by an average of 10 per cent each year over the last six years.