After his landmark visit to Papua New Guinea, President Pranab Mukherjee arrived in Auckland early Saturday morning on a three-day visit to New Zealand.This is for the first time that an Indian President is visiting this country in the Southern Hemisphere. During his sojourn, the President will meet the Governor General Sir Jerry Mateparae. Prime Minister John Key and the leader of Opposition Andrew Little will call on him.The President will lay a wreath at the Auckland War Memorial and address the students of Auckland University of Technology. He will also address a Business Forum and Indian Diaspora. With a population of about 4.5 million, New Zealand historically shares close and cordial ties with India.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>As many as 1, 75, 000 persons of Indian origin have made New Zealand their permanent home. There are about 23, 000 Indian students in New Zealand. The country has become a favourite destination for location shooting by Indian Film producers.
ALSO READ President Mukherjee embarks on two-nation tour to Papua New Guinea and New ZealandThe Wellington City Council has submitted a proposal for establishing a sister-city relationship between Wellington and New Delhi. To improve connectivity between the two countries, a bilateral Air Services Agreement is likely to be signed during this visit of the President.The New Zealand Government is also keen to enhance defence cooperation with India.