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University of Waikato completes the third India – New Zealand Business Forum 2014
17 Dec 2014
The third India – New Zealand Business Forum 2014 was held on 4th and 5th December at the University of Waikato in Hamilton. The aim was to facilitate direct trade/business contacts for exploration of mutual and reciprocal opportunities in chosen areas of commerce and economic development between the two countries.
The major sponsors included the Gujarat Law Society, Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI), Institute for Business Research at the University of Waikato; the India New Zealand Business Council; and Askyourteam.com. The combined efforts of the sponsors were:
• To develop mutual ties between organizations of similar interest as well as those willing to collaborate in strategic areas.
• To help the academics and corporate leaders from both countries understand and appreciate each other’s cultural differences and the dynamics of business practices and economic policies
• To facilitate inflow of investments to both countries in a reciprocal manner by involving trade officials and federations in a structured manner
• To build the forum as a platform for understanding and resolving the challenges faced in doing businesses across both nations
• To identify and where appropriate recommend policy changes to Governments to facilitate trade and investment between the two nations.
Following a significant opening address by His Excellency, Mr Ravi Thapar – High Commissioner of India, Wellington, the forum focused on four key themes: tourism; agribusiness; ICT; and education & research. The programme was built around presentations followed by significant panel discussions.
Tourism presentations were made by Mr Henry Horne, from Hobbiton; and Mr Yogesh Sutaria, from Gujurat Exhibitions and Conventions. Agribusiness presentations were made by Mr Jon Calder CEO Fieldays; Mr Param Shah, FICCI, and Mr Earl Rattray, Director DairyLink. The ICT presentations were made by Mr Bruce Trevarthen, LayerX Ltd; Mr Jaimin Shah, CEO, DEV IT, India; Mr Akshay Sethia, MD, DezignBrains, India and Mr Chris Dew, Partner, Advisory, KPMG New Zealand. Research and Education presentations were made by Mr Chris O’Reilly CEO Askyourteam.com, and Professor U T Rao MICA Incubation Centre, Ahmedabad.
Panels were chaired by leading scholars from the University of Waikato and AgResearch. On the second day of the forum International visitors had the opportunity meet Waikato businesses and grow their relationships with them. An exciting tangible outcome of the Forum has been that two ICT businesses which already have interest and presence in Australia are planning to open offices in New Zealand as well. A New Zealand firm is planning to establish export to India of the much-demanded Manuka honey. The FICCI is facilitating this opportunity.
The Forum also opened opportunity for collaboration in other sectors such as education, agribusiness and tourism. It has been proposed that the fourth India-New Zealand Forum should be held in India with an increased presence and participation of the industry sector.
Planning for this is to be initiated early next year for the event to be held towards end of 2015. Dr Asad Mohsin and Waikato colleagues are to be congratulated on this successful event.