The India New Zealand Business Council (INZBC) has welcomed the announcement by the Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern, of the staged reopening of the borders.
“Phasing out the restrictions on the New Zealand business travelers’ being able to return home cannot come soon enough”, said INZBC Chair, Earl Rattray.
The border closure has been one of the biggest obstacles developing trade, for exports and imports.
Many New Zealand businesses who have invested overseas, had to keep managing their overseas operations remotely. “There is only so much you can do via Zoom. Feeling the pulse and reading the air are important elements of business. This is hard to do when you are absent for prolonged periods” he said.
New Zealand has announced a phased reopening of its borders, as the country starts to ease some of the world's toughest Covid restrictions. Vaccinated New Zealanders in Australia will be able to go home from 27 February, and jabbed citizens in the rest of the world can do so from 13 March, PM Jacinda Ardern says. They will have to self-isolate for 10 days but mandatory stays at state quarantine facilities, if you were lucky enough to get a spot, will be scrapped.
“This will give those who need to travel a lot more confidence to plan ahead” Mr Rattray said.
The border opening plan includes five stages, which start on 27 Feb 2022 and sets full reopening date by October 2022.
New Zealand's borders have largely been closed for routine travel for almost two years to help prevent Covid19 infections overwhelming the public health system. This has caused much upheaval in various sectors, including Travel, Tourism, Education, Services, Export development and the workforce in general.
According to the research conducted by Export NZ, among more than 319 New Zealand exporters, increased costs along with unpredictable transport options and the inability to travel due to the Covid-19 / Border MIQ restrictions have been cited as major barriers to exporting and further raised as points needing urgent government attention.
“Maintaining and developing our bilateral business interests has endured increasing strain as travel restrictions have dragged on. We need to open up, so this news is a great relief” Mr Rattray said.