India News Network | June 23
New Delhi: India and New Zealand have huge unrealised potential for mutually beneficial collaboration, Minister of State (MoS) for External Affairs V Muraleedharan said in his remarks at the Inaugural Ministerial Session of the India-New Zealand Business Council on Wednesday.
“India and New Zealand enjoy warm and friendly relationship anchored in shared democratic traditions, commonwealth heritage, commonality of institutions of governance and rule of law and sporting relations through cricket, hockey and mountaineering,” he said.
Muraleedharan noted that based on strong fundamentals, our bilateral relationship is progressing well through regular political, economic and people-to-people exchanges.
Terming the theme of this year’s summit, ‘Decade of the New Normal’, as extremely relevant, he said India and New Zealand have huge unrealised potential for mutually beneficial collaboration.
“India and New Zealand have shared interests in a peaceful, cooperative and prosperous Indo-Pacific region. The need for strengthening the strategic dimension of our relationship is felt more strongly than ever before,” the Minister explained.
“There is keen interest in India to further strengthen our relationship,” he said while holding it to be a mutually shared objective.
“Stronger economic relations through more trade and investment between India and New Zealand, is a key element of this vision,” Muraleedharan said.
Informing that there has been a positive growth in bilateral trade in recent years, particularly in the service sector, he said that education and tourism have provided strong impetus. But, both sectors have suffered setbacks due to the pandemic, the Minister reckoned.
“We need to find new avenues for rejuvenating our economic engagements,” he suggested.
Emphasising that agriculture, dairy, forestry remain priorities on both sides, MoS for External Affairs said that ties in emerging areas such as digital technology and civilian space cooperation can be explored.
“We are committed to address market access issues,” he clarified.
Muraleedharan recalled that India and New Zealand have worked closely with other like-minded countries in Indo-Pacific by exchanging information and best practices to keep regional supply chains open during the pandemic.
“Businesses from both sides can complement this effort by seeking long-term partnerships for more diverse and resilient supply chains. A good beginning in this regard has already been made with some of the leading New Zealand companies establishing business in India,” he added.
Highlighting that India is not just a large market, but it is a diverse market with an immense talent pool, the Minister said stronger economic interactions through technology tie-ups and collaborations would be more relevant in the future.
“India’s vibrant start-up ecosystem provides opportunities for collaborations that can help us define and adjust to the ‘new normal,” he opined.
Muraleedharan expressed pleasure that people of Indian origin in New Zealand are doing well in their chosen fields and rising to leadership positions in the government and in businesses.
Terming Indian students in New Zealand, an asset to the future of this relationship, he noted that the number of students from India to New Zealand, however, has declined over last few years.
“Giving Indian students the opportunity to work after study, would encourage them to choose New Zealand as a destination for higher studies,” the Minister highlighted.
India News Network | June 23