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APR 2020 | VOL 2 ISSUE 01

The New Zealand-India Trade Magazine

New India calls for new

NZ strategy

DAVID PARKER ʻIndia RCEP decision won’t hold us back’

Delegates speak on mission

The kiwi and the elephant: FICCI’s views on the mission


Trade & Ministerial Mission to India ALSO INSIDE 2020 India Mission photo report Visit opens new vistas Raisina Dialogue 2020



INZBC at Indus Food


6 2020 India Mission: New India calls for new India strategy Mission delegates voice need for new strategy going beyond just commodities exports

10 Delegates upbeat about NZ-India prospects Three members of the ministerial delegation share their observations on the mission


12 INTERVIEW: MINISTER DAVID PARKER “India’s RCEP decision shouldn’t hold us back from progressing trade relationship’’

14 Report recommends people-to-people ties ‘Our growing Indian diaspora has transformed the cultural landscape of New Zealand and made a strong contribution to our economy and business dealings with India.’

16 Photo report: 2020 india mission


Instead of fearing imports from New Zealand’s dairy industry, we should look at strategic collaboration and technology.

18 The kiwi and the elephant FICCI’s recommendations on the business and industry sectors that both countries can work together to grow and mutually benefit from.

21 Visit opens up new vistas for NZ Inc INZBC Chair Sameer Handa on his impressions on the 2020 India mission.


22 Viewpoint: Kiwis determined to shrug off past constraints INZBC New Delhi chapter head and author Bharat Joshi pens his views on the developments during the delegation and what we might expect as outcomes.

24 Guest COLUMN: RAISINA DIALOGUE Asia New Zealand Foundation’s Suzannah Jessep on the importance of diplomacy in a ‘complex’ 2020.


27 Trade Fair: INZBC at Indus Food 2020 This was the third year that an INZBC delegation visited the India’s premier food and beverage trade show.

April 2020 | KiaOra India | 3


28 INZBC News: Council farewells 2019 on high note Indian High Commissioner, Muktesh Pardeshi, addressed the INZBC members and the business community.

29 Report: India-capable kiwis key to NZ-India relationship Ahead of the ministerial delegation to India in February, the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs & Trade published a paper titled ‘Investing in the Relationship’ which enlisted a six point backgrounder to what the country seeks to achieve in its relationship with India going forward.

Vol 02 | Issue 01 - APRIL 2020 Publisher: India New Zealand Business Council Editor: Dev Nadkarni Design & Production: Media Solutions Kiwi Ltd. For Advertising, contributions & feedback contact: Garry Gupta, Secretary, INZBC. Email: | +64 9 574 5220 Contributors in this issue: Suzannah Jessep, Bharat Joshi, Manish Singhal, Gaurav Vats, Vaishali Sahni Office Address: Suite 7, Palm Space Office Complex, 4343 Great North Rd, Glendene, Auckland 0612 Postal Address: 74297, Greenlane 1546, Auckland, New Zealand

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Time for realising NZ-India trade potential New Zealand’s ministerial delegation to India in February came more than three years after its last one in 2016. This, therefore, was the Labour-led coalition government’s first formal mission into India. Co-led by Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters and Trade Minister David Parker, the ministers had high profile meetings with their counterparts on the Indian side while accompanying business delegation interacted with apex trade bodies and industries. This first issue of Kia Ora India for this year focuses largely on the February visit to India. Everyone acknowledges that the New Zealand-India trade relationship has a lot of unrealised potential. India’s numbers boggle the mind. A rather late bloomer on the global development scale, India has a lot of catching up to do, which it is now doing impressively leveraging new digital technologies and the ingenuity of its naturally entrepreneurial young populace. Minister Parker says he was struck by the sheer scale of the Indian economy, its youth and the way India had so impressively improved its position on the global Ease of Doing Business index, which New Zealand has topped for some years now. There was something that New Zealand could offer India on that, the Minister reckons. And that is the tack that this delegation seems to have been realised: For New Zealand to think beyond commodities into technologies and the large services sector, which New Zealand has so much experience in and does so well globally. While commodities are still important and will be for a long time, New Zealand must add its expertise in services and technologies to its offering to India. New Zealand and India have had a friendly, cordial relationship for decades, but this hasn’t borne fruit economically for both

Dev Nadkarni Editor, KiaOra India


countries as much as it should have. Edmund Hillary and Everest; New Zealand’s early help in establishing organised and cooperative dairy farming in India; the love of cricket; the shared Commonwealth heritage; the large Indian diaspora here in New Zealand gives business in both countries a dream setting to build on. Some New Zealand companies have been successful in leveraging these shared attributes and are doing well while willing to share their stories with other New Zealand businesses wishing to follow in their footsteps. The INZBC is always available to offer all the help it can toward achieving this goal. INZBC Chairman Sameer Handa says that after the visit, a number of New Zealand companies have sought this help to connect with Indian companies. The ministerial delegation met with Indian External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal. Mr Parker, who interviewed for this issue of Kia Ora India, refers to his discussions with Mr Goyal, in which he says the two senior ministers agreed that India’s RCEP decision shouldn’t hold back the two countries from developing their bilateral trade and economic arrangements. Valocity’s Carmen Vicelich led the 15-member business delegation which also included INZBC Chairman Sameer Handa. New Zealand Inc. was well represented with several businesspeople from key sectors included in the delegation. In this issue we also have views from the other side – the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FICCI) also shares its view on the visit and the New Zealand-India relationship from India’s perspective. Hope you enjoy the issue.

Dev Nadkarni has been in the media industry for 30 years, 16 of them in New Zealand and Oceania. He has worked as writer and sub editor with the National Business Review (NBR), written extensively for the New Zealand Herald and commented on Pacific matters for TVNZ. He is the founding editor of The Indian Weekender and has earlier worked as editor, cartoonist, tertiary educator and communications consultant in government, corporate, IT and economic development sectors. He is a director on boards of companies in New Zealand and the Pacific. April 2020 | KiaOra India | 5

Trade & Ministerial Mission to India

New India

calls for a new NZ strategy

Need to go beyond commodities into digital tech, services; writes KiaOra Editor, Dev Nadkarni


ew Zealand’s trade mission to India in February has greatly widened New Zealand Inc’s perspective on the plethora of possibilities and the potential for growth that exist in a new, resurgent India. The mission, jointly led by Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters and Trade Minister David Parker, had some 15 business leaders from industries as diverse as aviation, dairy, fintech, horticulture, engineering, meat and education, besides others. New Zealand Trade & Enterprise Chief Executive Peter Chrisp and Divisional Manager South & South East Asia of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs & Trade Andrew Needs as well as other senior diplomats and officials also were part of this highprofile delegation. Minister Parker, in an interview with Kia Ora India said, “I was struck by the sheer scale of India’s economy, the number of young people and the growing confidence of India in the world and it was pretty evident that there was a tremendous opportunity for New Zealand to partner with India.” Several delegates Kia Ora India

6 | KiaOra India | December 2019

spoke to indicated that there was a need for New Zealand to think beyond commodities (New Zealand’s decades-long export staple to India like wood, dairy and meat) to adding on a wide range of services, technology, technology transfers and ideas focused on the needs of the fast-growing Indian marketspace to New Zealand’s offering. When the delegation presented these possibilities during their interactions with Indian businesses and officials in New Delhi and Mumbai, “The Indian counterparts were surprised and interested to learn about our expertise in other sectors,” Asia New Zealand Foundation CEO Simon Draper told Kia Ora India. New Zealand businesses have been realising for some time now that India is a country to collaborate and do business with rather than one to sell things to. Given the mismatch in their geographic and population sizes, partnership strategies that complement mutual strengths to create offerings for the vast domestic market as well as the world is a great way forward for Kiwi businesses. As well as the subcontinental geographic proportion of India

and the mind-boggling numbers it presents, the country’s range of reforms make India an attractive destination for doing business as never before. Transformative strides Over the past five years, the Modi Government has been intent on a focused and incremental clean-up of business practices, rationalisation of tax regimes and generally concentrated in making the administration business friendly, changing the perception of the country into an attractive investment destination. Those efforts have begun bearing fruit. The Ease of Doing Business global ranking has jumped 67 places, in just the past three years, to sixtythird position. The economy has been growing in excess of 7.5 per cent over the past 15 years before slowing down more recently to the current 4.7 per cent. It is forecast to grow 6-6.5 per cent in FY2021, according to the latest Budget. “One thing which came across clearly was that India is hungry for technologies, data, innovations, technical training and other services rather than just products,” Sameer Handa, India New Zealand Business INZBC.ORG

Council Chairman said. “This was also clearly conveyed by Amitabh Kant, CEO of Niti Aayog [the Indian Government’s main planning body] when we all visited their offices in Delhi,” he added. The Modi administration has earmarked resources for fostering and accelerating start-ups and entrepreneurialism across the country. This is a great opportunity for New Zealand entrepreneurs and investors to partner with young entrepreneurs with bright ideas to mentor, guide and help scale up their enterprises globally, especially in digital technologies that cut across geographical barriers. Digital transformation is poised to change every segment of India’s economy, with 550 million internet subscribers and growing, affording vast swathes of the country’s population a technological leap over many other parts of both the developing and developed world. Having overtaken the UK and France in 2019, India is the world’s fifth-largest economy with a nominal GDP of US$2.94 trillion. As for purchasing power parity (PPP), India is ranked third globally, behind only the USA and China. With a US$2.8 trillion market forecasted to grow to US$18 trillion over the next two decades and a 1.3 billion population with an average age of 29 years, it is a destination that cannot be taken lightly and one that needs a careful strategy to do business with and grow, especially for a small nation like New Zealand. Speaking in Mumbai, Mr Peters said, “New Zealand is seriously committed to investing more in India. We know we are a small country but there’s no reason why a small INZBC.ORG

country cannot be of great help to a big one and vice versa.” Currently, India is New Zealand’s thirteenth largest trading partner, with bilateral trade reaching to a new high of two way trade around $3 billion. But there’s a long way to go before coming anywhere close to the volumes the country does with China. Need for new approach “During the course of five days we had debrief meetings almost every day and everyone’s thoughts and ideas kept evolving toward a new approach to doing business with India,” Mr Handa said. The debriefs threw up a host of new ideas such as potential partnerships with local public institutions or the private sector, changing the mindset from the hitherto ‘sell to India’ to ‘partner with or add value in India’. “In this business model we seek in-country partners who take New Zealand companies up into their platforms or offerings, to mutual advantage. The key here is for these arrangements to be not only be beneficial to India, but also commercially advantageous to New Zealand participants,” says a debrief document that was shared with Kia Ora India. But with the long-pursued Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between New Zealand and India still elusive and India’s refusal to sign on to the Regional Closer Economic Partnership (RCEP) anytime soon, there is no existing framework for trade between the countries outside of bilateral arrangements.

April 2020 | KiaOra India | 7

Trade & Ministerial Mission to India Speaking to media in New Delhi, Minister Parker was quoted as saying, “We know that India chose to stay out of RCEP. But if they continue not to participate in the pact then we will obviously need to pursue our trading relationship through different means.” What that will be is something which is yet to be worked out. The reasons why India has backed off from RCEP are the very ones that New Zealand or any other country doing business with India will have to be mindful of: India’s internal systems have much catching up to do with international best practice and therefore needs to protect its own industry segments against foreign competition. It is still protective of its rural sector both for political and economic reasons. That, indeed, is what has acted as a stumbling block for New Zealand’s dairy exports to India. In the words of Mr Draper, “While there is a ‘rock in the road’ when it comes to dairy, the trick is to make the ‘road wider’.” The delegation has strongly voiced the need for an India strategy, “partly as a counterpoint to the concentration risk of China,” according to one of the debrief papers. That comment was quite prescient, as it was in that very week that the news of the spread of Coronavirus in China grabbed global headlines and began to throw the world’s supply chains into disarray, as the country progressively shut down its provinces in a bid to contain the contagion. That also happened to be the week when US President Donald Trump visited India. As if competing for India’s attention was a high powered Australian delegation, again in that very same week. Undoubtedly, New Zealand needs to move quickly and consistently with whatever its rejigged India strategy is to be. It has way too much competition from countries around the world in building relationships with India. While in India, the delegation also made private sector visits, notably to Indigo Airline, one of the fastest growing airlines in the world. It has 600 planes on order on top of its 250-aircraft fleet and will need 1000 pilots, offering a big opportunity to New Zealand’s well-respected aviation training sector. Commenting on some of the outcomes of the visit, INZBC Chairman Mr Handa said, “INZBC was able to have meaningful meetings with FICCI (Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry) and our chapter heads in both New Delhi and Mumbai. “As a result we’re now planning our next yearly Summit in Delhi in collaboration with FICCI in September 2020. Subsequent to the trip INZBC has already been approached by some of the delegates and their contacts to help them with their strategy for India market and make some introductions there.”

8 | KiaOra India | April 2020



April 2020 | KiaOra India | 9

Trade & Ministerial Mission to India

Delegates upbeat about NZ-India prospects Three members of the ministerial delegation share their observations on the mission


ollowing New Zealand Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Winston Peters’ and Minister for Trade & Export Growth David Parker’s delegation to India, Kia Ora India invited three members of the ministerial delegation to share their observations and impressions with INZBC members of their visit to New Delhi and Mumbai:

Simon Draper, CEO, Asia New Zealand Foundation, New Zealand’s most established NGO designed to equip New Zealanders to understand Asia through a programme of funding, support to media, young leaders, education, arts and Track II diplomacy. Mr Draper is a diplomat with wide international experience and is also a regular commentator for several news outlets.

Geoff Allott, CEO and Director of QualityNZ, a niche supplier of New Zealand’s finest quality products and services to India focusing on the food and beverage, tourism, and education sectors. Today, premium quality Kiwi food and beverages are found in top hospitality establishments and premium stores across India.

On the highlights of the meetings with officials in India:

Jo Pennycuick, The Redesign Group’s Founder and Managing Director leads her multidisciplinary design practice with four office locations servicing many regions around the world. While Jo is based in Christchurch, the Redesign Group has offices in Delhi, Ho Chi Minh City and Jeddah Saudi offering innovative design solutions and technologies to clients in diverse businesses from construction to retail.

Jo Pennycuick with a delegate

Geoff Allott: The importance of having senior ministers in the market was a key highlight. The meetings provided them with an opportunity to understand just how significant the Indian opportunity is (scale, breadth of opportunity, etc.), as well as highlighting the complexities that come with doing business in the market (which is important to understand). Jo Pennycuick: Opportunities for NZ businesses is extensive and we as business leaders already forged into the market need to project to the business community the importance of looking at India to invest and commit time to building business. The companies that were on this delegation have invested

Indian politician Rajeev Shukla, and Geoff Allot

time and energy into developing relationships and partnerships to deliver their products and services into India. It does take time, patience and persistence. Simon Draper: The two most important takeaways from my interactions was the generally high knowledge Indian officials had of New Zealand. Given the asymmetry in population size, Indians knew more about New Zealand than other countries I have visited. Secondly, once we moved beyond the initial concerns and fears about New Zealand dairy (which we were able to explain were unfounded) Indian counterparts were surprised and interested to learn about our expertise in other sectors. So, yes, while there is a ‘rock in the road’ when it comes to dairy, the trick is to make the ‘road wider’. On important takeaways for New Zealand businesses: Geoff Allott: New Zealand businesses need to be patient, understand the importance of relationships, and recognise that New Zealand needs to look to find niche opportunities to provide the market with value added products and services. While our countries share a lot in common, ‘cricket’ was commonly referred to and it certainly plays a massive role in our own business with the ambassadors/ shareholders we have. Jo Pennycuick: Relationship building and face to face meetings is where you will most benefit from. Specific sectors. Tech based

Carmen Vicelich & Simon Draper

10 | KiaOra India | April 2020 INZBC.ORG

companies are expanding greatly in India with the move to digitalise bank transactions and to go virtual rather than paper based. India business is relationship based and you cannot just think you can build this relationship after one meeting. Simon Draper: For the last few decades New Zealand trade policy has been built around FTAs and whilst this remains New Zealand’s goal with India as the way to quickly improve trade between us, in the interim we will have to find other ways to engage. This will take some innovative thinking on officials’ part, perseverance on New Zealand businesses’ part and long term New Zealand Inc investment. On specific sectors that are promising for India-NZ trade in the future: Geoff Allott: I still strongly believe this is a market that offers opportunities for both product and services. It is as much about the delivery model as it is about the product/service itself. You need to be efficient, direct, and ensure that the key attributes and points of difference of the product/service can be controlled with your marketing. Jo Pennycuick: The aviation sector is seeing an incredible growth with passenger rates soaring from 55 million in 2005 to 335 million in 2019. In the next 10 years there will be a need globally for 160,000 new pilots so the pilot training and simulator training needs to accommodate this. Companies such as IndiGo has purchased 100+ new airlines to support its growth. With the increase of airlines there is a need to build new airports and increase capacity in international airports. Some 130 airports tare o be INZBC.ORG

built and/or refurbished. These are only two areas that have experiential growth other than what New Zealand is renowned for – dairy and meat exports. Simon Draper: New Zealand’s size, exposure to global competition and relative isolation means that in services we are highly efficient and effective. Some of the services offered in training of pilots, aviation services, education, banking and finance systems are world class and India would be missing out not to use them. And agriculture is not just about diary – we have world class phytosanitary, food safety, traceability, horticulture, genetics and farming technology that India is going to need if it is going to be able to reliably and safely feed itself. There is enormous potential there. New Zealand wants to grow India’s agriculture sector – not undermine it. On advice to New Zealand government and companies considering India for business: Geoff Allott: Our business believes that the New Zealand Government needs to develop an overarching strategy document and commitment to India. This would result in consistent representation of Ministers to the market, further support to NZTE and MFAT officials stationed in the Market, and ultimately a commitment by the Prime Minister to visit India in the near future. The impact of that would be significant in regards to the perception Indian has of how serious New Zealand is to wanting to develop trade relations. Jo Pennycuick: New Zealand is 17 hours away from India. For companies that are looking to

expand into the market they need to look at how they can service their clients on the ground. India business is relationship based and you cannot just think you can build this relationship after one meeting. It takes time to build trust and to get the deal across the line. We have been working with some of our clients for 12 years now and they still come to us for the New Zealand way of design and management. Simon Draper: First to understand is it is a large and diverse country. Each of its 28 states is the size of an European country. So what works in New Delhi may not in Mumbai or Kolkata. Second, it will not be a China 2.0 – an FTA is unlikely to be central to the relationship initially and provide the certainty New Zealanders are used to. It will take patience, resilience and perseverance. But the rewards are there, it is a relationship with enormous potential. Other observations and comments: Geoff Allott: We’ve already been committed to India for seven years, and we see ourselves as long term players in this market. The delegation was more about supporting the fact that we had Government representation in the market and as an opportunity to network with both NZ and Indian business and potential customers. We may develop a partnership with a few of the NZ businesses that were represented on the delegation which would ultimately result in it being a great NZ Inc. story. Simon Draper: It was pleasing to see that New Zealand businesses valued the recent Asia New Zealand Foundation report India and New Zealand: Our story, our future. Moreover, both New Zealanders and Indian colleagues agreed having the relationship extended to beyond trade to cover the incredibly important people to people links is fundamental to a long, durable and sustainable bilateral relationship. This visit encouraged me that we were on the right track. April 2020 | KiaOra India | 11

EXCLUSIVE | Minister’s Interview

‘‘ India’s RCEP decision shouldn’t hold us back from progressing trade relationship.’’ - DAVID PARKER

David Parker, Minister for Trade & Export Growth and the Environment, co-led a ministerial mission to India with Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Winston Peters in February. A 15-strong business delegation was part of the mission that visited New Delhi and Mumbai and parleyed with a wide range of Indian government ministers, senior officials and industrialists. Upon his return, Minister Parker talked to Kia Ora India Editor Dev Nadkarni on his impressions on the visit and the way forward for New Zealand-India trade. Excerpts:

Did the mission meet your expectations? First of all, it was very enjoyable. We all had a good time. We had pleasurable interactions with a range of people. I was struck by the sheer scale of economy, the number of young people, India’s growing confidence in the world. It’s pretty evident that there’s a tremendous opportunity for New Zealand there. Of course, we’re not the only ones who see it that way. There are other countries acknowledging that. While we were there the Australian Minister of Trade was in town, President Donald Trump was there – so it was timely for New Zealand to be there to demonstrate the strength of our relationship with India.

What were the takeaways especially for New Zealand Inc? At one level you recognise the need for continued engagement and visits. The relationship is warm. We’re familiar with shared Commonwealth heritage, cricket, of course the very large Indian diaspora in New Zealand, and we have a lot of commonalities, strong commitments to democracy, but it is also true that the relationship has a lot of unfulfilled potential. India is developing fast; it has development needs to benefit its vast and diverse population. And we think we have commonalities and relevant experience that we can

share. New Zealand is at the top of the ease of Doing Business index, India’s rank is rapidly rising but it has still some distance to go. We can help with that. We have views on how trade can benefit us both. We have our trade agenda to show how we can make sure that the benefits of trade can flow to everyone.

With this trip, do you see New Zealand has more to offer to India beyond commodities? Yes, I most certainly do. On our mission we met a lot of technology companies and we had with us Carmen Vicelich, the leader of the trade delegation. Her company [Valocity] was the Fintech Start-up of the Year last year in India for the technology that she has brought to help the efficiency of the Indian economy, for the benefit of people who want to buy houses through the banking system. It’s clear from this example how complementary our economies are and an example of the opportunities there are to grow two-way trade. It has got to work in both directions. So, it’s not just about commodities. Services are an important part of our economy. Fonterra’s main information systems in New Zealand are provided by an Indian multinational. It’s already flowing in both directions and works for both countries.

12 | KiaOra India | April 2020 INZBC.ORG

David Parker with Piyush Goyal

So, would there be more emphasis on this going ahead then? We can always do more. In agritech, technologies used by collectors of milk from small farms for quality and contamination in Waikato are being used by Indian dairy farmers. We’ve got Fisher & Paykel Healthcare doing work there that benefits Indian people and consumers. We talked about fintech and Valocity; we’ve got niche manufacturing with the likes of Rakon that produce crystal oscillation chips, which are used in India’s space programme; we’ve got pilot training; we’ve got tourism, education and our premium food and beverage. It’s a pretty long list already but it’s a huge market, it’s a growing market and economy. We can do a lot together.

Do you see New Zealand updating its India strategy after this visit? Thinking about how we can continue to promote our trade linkages, I don’t think that will turn into a different version of the India Strategy immediately but the meetings with our Indian counterparts to discuss how we can develop New Zealand and India’s trade and economic relationship – they’re obviously valuable to us and we see significant opportunity to grow.

Could there have been more achieved on the education and aviation sectors during this visit? We had representatives from both those sectors on the mission. We met with Indigo, a growing airline over there and we had a very interesting meeting with them where the providers have talked about flying and simulator training, which New Zealand is strong in. That was a good example. I did hear that some of the education sector weren’t as well represented on the initial trade mission as they could have been, but I spoke to Paul Chalmers who runs a private training establishment on the mission, and he had some good meetings over there.

So, is the possibility of New Zealand-India direct flights any closer now? Current disruptions caused by Coronavirus aside, we will get through that both here and in India. There is great interest on both sides in improving those linkages. It’s INZBC.ORG

David Parker with Nirmala Seetharaman

likely to be through Singapore rather than direct.

But the two countries are already connected through Singapore anyway... Yes, there are a lot of connections, but they can be improved, and I think there’s an interest on both sides on that. I met with the relevant minister and minister [Piyush] Goyal and we had discussions on that. I think that India sees a benefit in this, and we see it as well. Air linkages are important both for our tourism and education industries and they also aid in creating more capacity for goods.

With New Zealand’s supply chains from China disrupted after the Covid-19 outbreak, do you see India picking up the slack in some way? I don’t think anyone wants to take advantage of the difficulties that any country is going through at the moment. Those decisions have to come from individual companies rather than the government. Those are decisions for them.

With no FTA or RCEP, what is the alternative. There were some reports during the visit that said bilateral arrangements could be strengthened. In what way would that happen? We’ll have to work through that, but Minister Goyal and I agreed that India’s decision on RCEP should not hold us back from progressing our bilateral trade and economic relationship. We are going to get on and do that regardless of India’s decision on RCEP.

So, how will this be progressed? Will there be a timeline? No timeline. RCEP, provided there are no delays caused by Coronavirus, is set to proceed and expected to conclude this year with or without India. The bilateral relationship in the areas we have talked about doesn’t necessarily need trade agreements to advance some of those trade issues.

April 2020 | KiaOra India | 13

ANZF Report

Report recommends strong people-to-people ties Graeme Waters, a former New Zealand High Commissioner to India, who authored a report for the Asia New Zealand Foundation writes, “Our growing Indian diaspora has transformed the cultural landscape of New Zealand and made a strong contribution to our economy and business dealings with India.” Mr Waters wrote an earlier version of the report for the Foundation in 2016. Because of its popularity – the report quickly needed a reprint – and the continued growth of the India-New Zealand relationship, the Foundation decided to commission an update for 2020.


he report India and New Zealand: Our story, our future describes the shared interests between the two countries, and points to the fundamental role that strong people-to-people relationships play. India is the second most populous country and the fifth largest economy globally and has incredible diversity across its many states and territories. It sits in the heart of South Asia, but it is increasingly playing a part in regional and global affairs, including in the Pacific. India and New Zealand: Our story, our future tells the story of how New Zealand and India’s relationship has grown and includes case studies of New Zealanders and Indians working in partnership across a range of sectors including arts, education, literature, media, business and innovation, military, politics, and sport. In his report, Mr Waters also highlights plenty of potential in the India-New Zealand economic relationship, with two-way trade in goods and services approaching the NZ$3 billion mark. This is despite no free trade agreement between the two countries.

India and New Zealand: Our story, our future February 2020

“A key issue for India, in both bilateral and regional trade negotiations, is its dairy market and protecting sensitive agricultural categories,” Mr Waters writes. “India tends to argue that it has come off second best in its trade deals. New Zealand has traditionally been an advocate for trade liberalisation and unwilling to compromise on agriculture access.” A deal for India on RCEP, let alone a bilateral FTA, could galvanise trade and investment. “This would help with the transfer of expertise and technology in areas such as horticulture and agriculture” Mr Waters says.

Asia New Zealand Foundation Director of Engagement and Research Suzannah Jessep, who previously served as New Zealand’s Deputy High Commissioner to India, says the report is part of the Foundation’s wider research programme helping grow New Zealanders’ understanding of Asian countries. “India is the only major Asian economy with which New Zealand does not currently have an FTA in some form. The strength of the bilateral relationship is testament to the individuals in both countries 1 who have built connections, some over many years. India is a country that takes time to understand. That’s why government-to-government engagement is so critical. We have to invest the time to understand India, and where the opportunities lie for New Zealand,” she says. How much do we know about each other?

“When it comes to India, immigration issues and international education have tended to dominate the headlines in New Zealand in recent years. This report shines a light on the breadth and depth of the relationship – everything from film and fashion, to baggage handling systems and innovations for auto rickshaws, to partnerships in the dairy and fruit industries.” The report also outlines shared interests the two countries have in regional stability and security. Both fall within the concept of the Indo-Pacific region. “New Zealand and India have a long history of cooperation in regional groupings, and many shared interests. To put it another way, we now belong to many of the same clubs. We have an equal stake in our region’s stability, security and prosperity.” Mr Waters also suggests a range of potential scholarships that could continue to grow the connections between the two countries, including in agribusiness, adventure tourism and fashion.

14 | KiaOra India | April 2020 INZBC.ORG

Young Leaders Zealand-India relationship, helping New Zealand’s international education and tourism markets. The 2016 Air Services Agreement has delivered better connectivity but is “still short of providing all the connections and flexibility needed to service the India-New Zealand relationship in the decade ahead”, Waters writes. In the past decade, tourist numbers in each direction have more than doubled. In 2018, about 30,000 Indian tourists came to New Zealand, and total short-term visitor numbers were nearly 68,000 (including short-term students and family visits). The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment [MBIE] forecasts that Indian visitor numbers will grow to 125,000 by 2025 – if air services also grow.

Indian immigration to New Zealand dates back to the 19th century; but has diversified and grown substantially in recent decades. At the time of the 2018 Census, about 220,000 New Zealanders identified as being of Indian ethnicity – nearly five percent of the population. With these demographic changes has come a discernible impact on New Zealand’s arts, culture, media and politics. Air services are “critical” to the New INZBC.ORG

India is New Zealand’s second largest education market. International student numbers from India have cooled slightly in recent years after a period of rapid growth – reflecting a “conscious shift from quantity to quality”, Waters writes. Overall Indian student numbers have dropped to just over 20,000 – but the number of university students has grown to nearly 2000. -This article was originally published on the Asia New Zealand Foundation website. April 2020 | KiaOra India | 15

Trade & Ministerial Mission to India

The kiwi and the elephant: A Relationship to be reckoned with Manish Singhal, Deputy Secretary General, FICCI (Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry); Gaurav Vats, Additional Director, FICCI and Vaishali Sahni, Assistant Director, FICCI on FICCI’s view of the recent New Zealand-India interaction and FICCI’s recommendations on the business and industry sectors that both countries can work together to grow and mutually benefit from...


he India and New Zealand relationship is historic. In the 1890s the first group of immigrants from Punjab and Gujarat arrived in New Zealand. There was regular trade between both the countries since the early 19th century when East India Company ships touched the shores of New Zealand. It culminated into a diplomatic relationship in 1953. To our mutual gain, this relationship has deepened significantly since then. Tourism, Education and Sporting links, particularly cricket, have played a significant role in fostering goodwill between our two countries. Though trade between New Zealand and India is poised for growth over the coming years, currently it is much below potential. Two-way trade stood at US $ 2.12 bn in 2018-19, making India the eleventh largest trading partner of New Zealand. Bilateral trade leaves much scope for improvement, both in terms of quantum and the goods traded. The ever-growing relations between New Zealand and India got a further boost during the last month when New Zealand’s Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters and Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker visited India from 25-29 February 2020. The Ministers co-led a high-level business delegation to India which included companies from food and beverage, advanced solutions for India’s aviation and manufacturing sectors, ICT and technology sectors. This was the first business

delegation from New Zealand to India since 2016. The Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) plays a vital role in fostering the economic engagement between the two countries and forging new business linkages with the support of our MoU partners, the INZBC and Missions. In view of this important visit, FICCI jointly with New Zealand High Commission in New Delhi organised an exclusive interactive session with David Parker, Minister for Trade and Export Growth, New Zealand and the business delegation from New Zealand with Indian industry to explore opportunities which can help build a mutually beneficial commercial and economic relationship between the two countries. Spread over a business session comprising a stimulating panel discussion, participants were drawn from wide range of Indian businesses. The panel discussion centred around the key sectors of cooperation – Aviation and Food & Beverage. Panelists discussed New Zealand’s strength and capacity in these sectors and how it can be combined with India’s vast technology needs to build partnerships for the benefit of both the economies. Bharat Joshi, CEO, J-Curve Ventures, while moderating the panel discussion said, “Kiwi companies can leapfrog competitors, by making India a regional base for serving markets in Asia, Africa, Europe and GCC: while leveraging

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FICCI recognises New Zealand as India’s important strategic partner in the Oceania region. New Zealand businesses have the innovative and intellectual capability, technology and expertise to support India’s economic development. Improvement in the bilateral investment framework can facilitate growth in the investment relationship between two countries. FICCI believes there is a need to speed up India New Zealand FTA. It will help in opening up new avenues for increasing trade. The agreement would not only address tariff barriers, but also non- tariff barriers such as sanitary and phytosanitary restrictions and other technical impediments. A joint study was done by the Indian government and New Zealand Ministry of Foreign affairs and Trade in 2009, describing existing barriers to trade and investment flows and potential economic impact of the removal or reduction of these barriers that could occur under a comprehensive economic agreement.


A recently released strategic paper ‘India 2025Investing in the relationship’ by New Zealand’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade sets out a framework for industries from both the sides to grow trade and investment relationship in the next five years with a focus on six strategic goals. In line with the same, FICCI is committed to work toward cementing long term partnerships particularly in areas such as Agriculture, Civil Aviation, Information & Technology and Tourism.

Agriculture is an area that New Zealand has a comparative advantage with regard to agricultural technologies, supply chains and logistics, with an admirable reputation for meat, dairy, and horticultural industries. India is also one of the 15 global leaders in agricultural exports and has emerged as a major market for agricultural machinery.

Indian talent to scale rapidly to meet global aspirations.” Addressing the gathering at the ‘India-New Zealand Business Forum’, Mr Parker highlighted that New Zealand is engaging with various states in India to provide latest technologies in agriculture, food storage and supply chain infrastructure, to reduce food wastage. New Zealand companies have started working with Indian businesses under the ‘Make in India’ programme.

Civil aviation has emerged as one of the priority sectors for cooperation and is one of the fastest growing industries in the country during the past three years. We are currently considered the third largest domestic civil aviation market in the world. The Indian government is planning to invest US$ 1.83 billion for development of airport infrastructure along with aviation navigation

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Trade & Ministerial Mission to India

services by 2026. FICCI recommends that India should cooperate with New Zealand in areas such as airport expansion and aviation training requirements and carry out activities like exchange of experts or instructors for training, and aviation services. FICCI plays a key role in achieving greater synergies in the aviation sector. India’s Ministry of Civil Aviation, AAI and FICCI organises Asia’s largest flagship civil aviation event, ‘Wings India’ that brings all players, facilitators, and regulators of the aviation fraternity under one roof to explore opportunities together. Another emerging area for cooperation is Information Technology. India’s IT skills are globally well known. Indian technocrats have propelled many economies and are at the forefront of the software revolution. New Zealand could benefit from Indian technical expertise. New Zealand offers a strong technology ecosystem with stable, business-friendly government, with a low-compliance tax system and government funding to assist research and development, training, and international growth. FICCI recommends a collaborative approach will enable both the countries to build a more enduring strategic relationship. FICCI is proud to house the Centre for Innovation, Science & Technology Commercialisation (C Tech) that has for 15 years successfully brought together various international stakeholders in the technology, innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystem on a common platform.

Agriculture is an area that New Zealand has a comparative advantage with regard to agricultural technologies, supply chains and logistics, with an admirable reputation for meat, dairy, and horticultural industries. India is also one of the 15 global leaders in agricultural exports and has emerged as a major market for agricultural machinery. This provides immediate opportunities for increased engagement between India and New Zealand’s agribusiness and agritech sectors. The food processing companies of New Zealand can join hands with Indian domestic players to introduce them to new technologies. People-to-people links between the two countries is one of the important pillars for fostering bilateral relations. India has been a key destination for New Zealand travellers for many decades, while New Zealand has benefited from skilled migrants, student exchanges, and rapid increases in tourist numbers from India. The number of tourists from India have more than doubled in the last five years and now exceeds 70,000 a year. There are more than 30,000 Indian students pursuing higher education in IT, hospitality and other areas in universities and private training institutes in New Zealand. Better air links – Direct flights will help not only in improving tourism but also improving trade, investment and people-to-people linkages.

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Innovation – India provides enormous opportunities for collaboration being a sandbox of ‘Innovation and Learning’. There has been growing convergence but there is a need for mutual understanding which can be promoted through greater investments, trade and people-to-people contact. It is time to build on these strengths and create annual business dialogue mechanism for consultative business discussions between the stakeholders on both the sides.

Visit opens up new vistas for NZ Inc INZBC Chairman Sameer Handa, who was a member of the business delegation to India, writes his impressions of the visit.

A senior ministerial visit to India was a long time coming, with the last one being in 2016 – so it was long overdue. The February mission led by two senior New Zealand ministers to India was as important as it was momentous. It was next to Trump’s visit to India and also happened at a time when China was battling with the effects of Coronavirus. The business delegation comprised 15 business leaders from diverse industries such as aviation, dairy, fintech, horticulture, engineering, meat and education, besides others etc. Carmen Vicelich of Valocity led the business delegation.

During the course of five days we had debrief meetings almost every day and everyone’s thoughts and ideas kept evolving toward a new approach to doing business with India. One thing which came across clearly was that India is hungry for technologies, Data, innovations, technical training and other services rather than just products. This was also clearly conveyed by Mr Amitabh Kant, CEO of Niti Aayog when we all visited their offices in Delhi. The visit to Indigo Airlines head office showed us how a successful airline has grown from zero to owning 250 aircrafts with another 600 on order. That showed everyone the size of the opportunity in India.

Indigo’s Chief Executive Officer mentioned that in the next five years they will need another 1000 pilots amongst other staff. INZBC was able to have meaningful meetings with FICCI and our chapter heads in both Delhi and Mumbai. As a result we’re now planning our next yearly Summit in Delhi in collaboration with FICCI in September 2020. Subsequent to the trip INZBC has already been approached by some of the delegates and their contacts to help them with their strategy for India market and make some introductions there.

Trade & Ministerial Misson to India

Kiwis determined to shrug off past constraints; remodel India strategy Bharat Joshi, industrialist, author, commentator, international business and investment strategist and India New Zealand Business Council’s New Zealand Chapter Head participated in many of the meetings and deliberations between the visiting New Zealand ministerial delegation and senior Indian officials in New Delhi in February. Kia Ora India emailed questions to Mr Joshi for his views on the developments during the delegation: What according to you are the highlights of the meetings? A senior level, ministerial + business delegation was itself a strong signal to Indian stakeholders of the commitment of NZ Inc to India. The timing of the delegation was very interesting. President Trump was in India that very week, as were at least one other Trade Minister and head of state. Also, Covid-19 had already begun disrupting supply chains for Indian and Kiwi companies alike, and since has only got worse, globally. Regional and global developments provided a sobering backdrop to use this opportunity to reflect on how exposed various companies or economies are, to market risks and business continuity planning/ processes. Indeed, the visit was planned much ahead of the Covid-19 outbreak, and other regional developments, and the meetings were essentially a continuation of our long and deep bilateral relationship. To my mind, the highlights were the huge interest among Indian stakeholders in Kiwi offerings and

The comments and questions from the delegation revealed a desire to engage more deeply with India, going forward. The reactions were extremely positive.

solutions; the determination in the Kiwi delegation to shrug off past constraints and remodel the India strategy, and a reminder of the high brand equity New Zealand enjoys in India; and personal success stories of delegates. The panel discussion in New Delhi, which I moderated, really connected with the audience. Many members of the audience expressed how impressed they were by the tenacity and distinct offerings of NZ companies. I feel we were able to bring the stories out of their domains (where they’re well known), and demonstrate how New Zealand companies are equally advanced in tech based and well as conventional sectors.

You conducted one of the sessions at the meeting. What was it about and what was the reaction 22 | KiaOra India | April 2020 INZBC.ORG

from participants? Yes, I presented an economic overview to the delegation, along with some of J-Curve’s insights on trade, investment and EODB (Ease of Doing Business). The delegation represented a good mix of India veterans as well as first time visitors to Incredible India (to quote the tourism campaign). The sectors represented were across goods and services, and included members from NZ governmental agencies, as well. The delegates were quick to appreciate some of the prerequisites to doing business with India: investing in long term relationships, developing an India specific strategy (as opposed to importing a model that might have worked in other markets), and looking at each state or UT (Union Territory ) as an independent market- rather than attempting to address all of India in the first go. The comments and questions from the delegation revealed a desire to engage more deeply with India, going forward. The reactions were extremely positive.

Bharat Joshi

I hope that the companies who were on an exploratory visit will take the plunge and commence a relationship with India, while those already present, will redouble their trade and investment.

What specific sectors do you see as promising for India-NZ trade in future further to the meetings? Agri-tech, food processing, space research, blue economy, connectivity, are some of the areas that come readily to mind. Take connectivity, for example: digital connectivity, transport infrastructure and supply chain solutions would not only enable greater bilateral trade, but also provide huge business opportunities in themselves. In addition, many unforeseen benefits would accrue from deep and regular people to people exchanges. A direct flight between our countries would surely help expedite both, planned and organic programmes.

Bharat Joshi is executive Director of JCurve Ventures, which operates in markets and verticals helping businesses achieve exponential growth. The JCurve team has extensive experience and network in the areas of infrastructure, logistics, advisory, investments and cross border operations.

Guest Column: Suzannah Jessep

Raisina Dialogue: The importance of diplomacy in a ‘complex’ 2020 This year’s Raisina Dialogue was a space for global leaders to hammer out the most challenging geopolitical and geo-economic issues facing the world today. But amidst the big countries locking horns – over Iran-US tensions, India’s contentious citizenship law, and the US-China trade war – there’s a place, and a lesson, for New Zealand, writes the Foundation’s director research and engagement Suzannah Jessep.*


020 has already delivered its fair share of global disorder.

We have seen our close neighbour, Australia, tackle raging bushfires; Iran launch missile strikes at US forces in Iraq; and now the coronavirus outbreak. Add intensifying US-China competition and Brexit and you could be forgiven for wanting to tune out of international affairs. But as Joseph Kennedy once said, ‘when the going gets tough, the tough get going.’ This is the time when our diplomacy is more important than ever. In January India hosted the Raisina Dialogue - the largest international affairs conference in South Asia, jointly organised by India’s Ministry of External Affairs and thinktank the Observer Research Foundation. This year, Raisina brought together 700 participants from over 100 countries, including 12 foreign ministers and numerous other former heads of government and private sector leaders. Raisina is known for its great panel debates, bringing together countries with opposing worldviews and making them hammer out their differences on stage. But this year we also heard from India’s leaders – at a time when India is coming under intensifying domestic pressure for its slowing economic growth and decisions related to citizenship and the administration of Kashmir.

India argues these are domestic matters, for India to manage. Others, however – including those at Raisina – argued that these decisions are changing the social fabric of India and fomenting an unwelcome division between India’s Hindu and Muslim communities. On RCEP, India’s Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal dashed any hope that India might sign RCEP sometime soon. Goyal said that India recognised that the deal would have been ‘good for diplomatic relations but bad for trade.’ India felt the agreement didn’t offer India sufficient incentive to trade with more advanced economies nor protections to manage what India sees as China’s unfair trading practices. Raisina this year was dominated by the presence of Iran’s foreign minister, Javad Zari, who arrived in Delhi just six days after Iran launched missiles at US forces in Iraq. Zari told us that the US was being unjustly provocative in its decision to unilaterally assassinate Iranian commander Qasem Soleimani and was deliberately fomenting instability in the Middle East. Russia’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Sergei Lavrov, presented on the day President Putin announced sweeping constitutional reforms preceding the resignation of government. Lavrov echoed Zari’s sentiments, arguing the US was being selective in its adherence to international law and that its Indo-Pacific strategy was merely a ruse to contain China. The US was represented at Raisina by a range of senior officials, including Deputy National Security Adviser

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Former Prime Minister Helen Clark was invited to open the conference alongside six other former heads of state and spoke of international relations from the perspective of a small country with big interests in preserving the rules and systems that have enabled countries like ours to engage and prosper.

Matthew Pottinger, who hit back at the assertions made by Zarif and Lavrov. Pottinger pointed to Iran’s close association with North Korea, China and Russia and questioned what they talk about when they get together: “what kind of face recognition softwares you use to recognise protesters?” or how to make a “better debt trap?”

trailblazer as the first woman in New Zealand’s naval history to achieve Commodore rank and be posted as Deputy Chief of Navy – presented at the coveted Foreign Secretary’s dinner on the opening night of Raisina. Ross spoke about women, peace and security and New Zealand’s enduring partnership with the Pacific.

You might assume in this environment that New Zealand is tucked away down the back of the room, scribbling notes about the worrying state of international affairs. Not so. Former Prime Minister Helen Clark was invited to open the conference alongside six other former heads of state and spoke of international relations from the perspective of a small country with big interests in preserving the rules and systems that have enabled countries like ours to engage and prosper.

One of New Zealand’s leading academics on South Asia, Manjeet Pardesi, and senior TVNZ reporter, Katie Bradford, also attended as part of the Asia New Zealand Foundation’s delegation, and have reported in their experiences through media and academic channels. New Zealand diplomats were also present and active.

New Zealand’s Deputy Chief of Navy, Commodore Melissa Ross (of Ngā Puhi descent) – herself a

Making an impact in regional affairs, particularly during tumultuous times when big countries are locking horns, is a matter of increasing focus among the governments and scholars of smaller countries. How small states get their voice heard and

Suzannah Jessep


maintain an independent foreign policy like New Zealand’s is not easy at a time of so-called strongman politics as exemplified by Xi Jinping, Donald Trump, Narendra Modi and Vladimir Putin. If there was one message from Raisina for smaller countries, it was the importance of staying connected, deepening our understanding, building partnerships and working with like-minded countries to ensure we are part of the conversation. New Zealand’s active diplomacy at all levels, across the public and private sector, has given New Zealand an outsize impact on shaping the rules governing our region. Looking ahead to the complex challenges we face in 2020 and beyond, our collective diplomacy can only become more important. *This article was first published on the Asia Media Centre and is reproduced here with the permission of the Asia New Zealand Foundation and the author.

Suzannah Jessep is the Foundation’s director research and development. She joined the Foundation in March 2019 after serving as New Zealand’s Deputy High Commissioner to India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Deputy Ambassador to Nepal and as New Zealand’s Deputy High Commissioner to Vanuatu. During her thirteen years in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, she also served in the Ministry’s Australia, Pacific and Europe Divisions, and in the area of Antarctic and security policy. April 2020 | KiaOra India | 25

Indus Food 2020

INZBC leads delegation to Indus Food 2020

The India New Zealand Business Council led a delegation of New Zealand based food and beverage importers to Indus Food 2020 in New Delhi earlier this year. This was the third year that an INZBC delegation visited the India’s premier food and beverage trade show. In fact, this is only the third year since its inception. The inaugural show took place in January 2018. Indus Food is India’s top international annual expo for the F&B export sector. It is a global platform where top exporters from India’s food and beverage industry participate and meet with prospective buyers and distributors from across the world invited to the event by the Trade Promotion Council of India (TPCI). This year the show on 11-13 January at the capital’s India Exposition Mart had three components, ‘three shows in one’ as it were – Indus Food, Indus Food Tech and Indus Food Chem, three self-explanatory activities in the business of manufacturing, packaging and distributing food and beverages in the world market. INZBC.ORG

This year’s delegation from New Zealand included delegation head Earl Rattray of Dairy Link, and Director and Treasurer, INZBC; Ravi Patel, GM - South Island, Foodservice & Fresh Division, Service Foods; Ashok Bhatia, Director, AB International Limited (for whom this was the third visit to Indus Food); Ms. Sushma Bhatia of AB International; Jagdish Punja of J Punja NZ; Manjeet Chawla, Director, Harman Impex; Hiteshkumar Vyas, Director, Khushi Exports; Marshall Gass, CEO, Chrysanthemum Empires Ltd and Bhavinkumar Ladani of Trade India NZ LTD. As well as transacting business worth more than US$2 billion with global visitors, the show hosted 30 B2B Roundtable meetings which the New Zealand delegation also attended, as they did in previous years. More than 700 food and beverage manufacturers exhibited. New Zealand delegates expressed praise for the arrangements made for them by TPCI, as in previous years, as well as the manner in which the entire event was organised.

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INZBC Events Report

INZBC farewells 2019 on high note

The India New Zealand Business Council’s customary year end event was extremely well attended on December 18, 2019, bidding adieu to a busy and successful year for the council. Indian High Commissioner, Muktesh Pardeshi, addressed the INZBC members and the business community at host EY’s premises in downtown Auckland. The High Commissioner spoke on the long standing cultural and people-to-people connections between India and New Zealand and stressed that more needs to be done for business interactions. Mr Pardeshi recounted the progress both countries have made specially in the latter months of last year, with high level interactions both at G2G, B2B, C2C level. He said that in this year itself there had been many exchanges on the political front, as well as between the countries’ navies and the business community. Later on, he was joined by Heath Mills from the New Zealand Cricket Players Association (NZCPA), who shared his insights into the opportunities within the sporting sector. He encouraged New Zealand businesses to leverage off the brand that the Blackcaps have created in India.

partners and stakeholders for their contribution in 2019 to lift the India New Zealand relationship. Sameer Handa gave an overview of the activities of the Council and acknowledged the delegation of Kiwi businesses that are going to the Indian F&B sector trade show – Indus Food (see separate report in this issue). INZBC’s head of Strategic Partnerships, Sunil Kaushal said that with NZ India trade crossing the $3billion mark, it is a good time for all stakeholders to take a stock of how we can work as NZ India Inc to further this blossoming relationship from all facets of trade, cultural, people to people and government to government levels. “The Indian High Commissioner’s update shows the level of intensity that both governments are placing on taking the relationship to the next level in the coming decade and India New Zealand Business Council endorses those efforts and will positively contribute to the development of those initiatives for our members and NZ India Inc”, said Sunil. The High Commissioner also released 2019’s final issue of INZBC’s quarterly Kia Ora India along with other speakers and board members.

INZBC Chair Sameer Handa welcomed the guests while EC member Jay Changlani thanked all the members, 28 | KiaOra India | April 2020 INZBC.ORG

India-NZ 2025: MFAT Report

‘India-capable Kiwis key to NZ-India relationship’

6. Shared approaches bilaterally and in international for a According to the document, the idea is to build on recent developments in the relationship, such as high level discussions between New Zealand’s Prime Minister, Foreign Minister, and Defence Minister and their Indian counterparts in different for a across the world; the visit of Minister of State for Trade and Export Growth visited India, and the Indian Chief of Navy visited New Zealand. Also, officials have recently held dedicated foreign policy, economic and finance, and cyber security dialogues. Building on these developments, the plan is for more frequent highlevel government engagements to build the trade, economic, political, and security aspects of the relationship to take place. This includes a plan to the network of New Zealand Honorary Consuls in India and encourage deliberate engagement between government, academics and other organisations.

Ahead of the ministerial delegation to India in February, the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs & Trade published a paper titled ‘Investing in the Relationship’ which enlisted a six point backgrounder to what the country seeks to achieve in its relationship with India going forward. It recognises the ingredients that have helped the strong bonding between the two nations in its long, friendly relationship and seeks a way forward building on these elements. Commentators are widely of the opinion that the relationship has tremendous potential because of these ingredients and the shared values and histories of the two countries.


Kia Ora India looks at the document and comments on some of its points. ‘Investing in the Relationship’ outlines how the relationship could be stepped up working with these six attributes: 1. A relationship based on mutual trust that advances our shared interests 2. New Zealanders have improved capability for engaging with India 3. Goods and services trade grows for shared prosperity 4. New Zealand’s value proposition is known and understood 5. Stronger and broader cultural connections between New Zealand and India

In recent years several New Zealand companies have gained valuable experience in doing business with India successfully. Glidepath, Quality NZ, Redesign Group and Valocity are only four of them among a growing number that have built their businesses in India impressively. Following in their footsteps and leveraging their knowledge, the document talks about developing more ‘India-capable’ Kiwis who will help understand a growing and changing India and its impact on New Zealand’s interests as also help businesses and other stakeholders to successfully navigate India’s operating environment. “New Zealand’s Indian communities are important ‘cultural navigators’. They provide a platform to build New Zealanders’ capability to engage with India,” the document says. It aims to work on improving market access and removing trade

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barriers, including through a regional or bilateral Free Trade Agreement (something which does not look imminent any more).

for India that compellingly demonstrates New Zealand creativity, expertise and credentials; positioning New Zealand as a partner to India,” the document says.

On the services side, it looks at supporting strong growth in services trade by attracting more high value visitors from India, and enhancing education opportunities and experiences for Indian and New Zealand students.

The sheer growth in the numbers of the Indian diaspora in New Zealand has enhanced the visual quotient of Indian culture across New Zealand especially with ever growing celebrations of colourful Indian festivals, arts and cultural events and of course cricket. The document outlines enhancing the cultural competency and attitudes of young people in both countries and promoting cultural exchanges to India that demonstrate the importance of Te Ao Māori to New Zealand identity.

While it aims at improving business council support to New Zealand businesses seeking to operate in India, it also plans to promote improved flight linkages between India and New Zealand, including direct flights (on which again there has been little progress over the past few years). Asia New Zealand Foundation CEO Simon Draper told Kia Ora India, “Given the asymmetry in population size, Indians knew more about New Zealand than other countries I have visited.” The ‘Investing in the Relationship’ document says, “Establishing and promoting New Zealand as a core bilateral partner for India is dependent on our ability to articulate our strengths, our areas of alignment, and what we can offer.” It recognises the need for New Zealand to articulate its value proposition more clearly and persistently, and match that with action. The idea is to do this by “working with stakeholders to develop and deliver a ‘public diplomacy’ strategy

Importantly, it recognises the need to give greater recognition and publicity to the success and contributions of New Zealand’s Indian communities. Already, several events recognising Indian New Zealanders or Kiwi-Indians take place annually and are being increasingly noticed by mainstream New Zealand. The document also outlines geostrategic cooperation. It lays importance on engaging regularly with India on defence and security issues of mutual interest and sharing perspectives on regional security trends and explore opportunities to work more closely together in the Indo-Pacific and Pacific regions. (It is to be noted that the term ‘Indo-Pacific’ has now been embraced in the mainstream New Zealand lexicon). Additionally, it stresses the importance of international initiatives that matter to both nations, such as on renewable energy, trade, and sustainability.

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