Auckland’s growing business ties with the powerful Indian economy have been strengthened by a 14-strong delegation of high-tech companies from the southern state of Kerala.
The Kerala Global IT Connect delegation was led by the regional government’s Principal Secretary for Industries and IT, Mr PH Kurian, who is the architect of the region’s tech company start-up policy focused on innovation.
Hosted by the region’s economic growth agency, Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development (ATEED), the India New Zealand Business Council (INZBC), New Zealand Trade & Enterprise, and NZ Tech, the group forged promising connections which are likely to lead to investment and trade, particularly in the ICT sector.
As well as a number of private sector meetings, the companies attended a networking and business matching session for the ICT sector which involved ATEED, INZBC, NZTE, and NZ Tech.
Auckland councillor Arthur Anae, chair of the Economic Development Committee congratulated the delegation on their visit, thanked Mr Kurian for leading the delegation, and praised the connections being made by Auckland and Kerala: “India is the rising star of the international economy and the potential that can be forged between our two nations in the hi-tech digital world is limitless.”
Kerala has the highest density of science and technology personnel per capita in India and a telecom innovation hub modelled after California’s ‘Silicon Valley’.
A Kerala-based multi-media company opened an operation in Auckland this year, and another Kerala company is opening a presence in Wellington. At least one other company is expected to open a presence in Auckland in the next year, demonstrating the growing ties between the regions.
Steve Armitage, GM Business
Attraction and Investment at ATEED, says: “The growing relationship with Kerala will give some of Auckland’s most innovative companies the chance to gain global scale, as well as assisting the state’s needs for waste and water management infrastructure.”
Wenceslaus Anthony, Head of Government Relations for the INZBC says the visit was a great success: “Rather than just a forum, the delegation sealed actual business deals.”
INZBC Treasurer Bhav Dhillon said hosting the delegation was an example of how various industry bodies and government agencies can work together to promote trade ties between India and New Zealand.
“The positive feedback we have received from the Kerala delegates is testimony of the hard work put in by all agencies, including ATEED, to make this visit a success."
An elated Mr P H Kurian, said: “Our delegation to Auckland was very successful. All of our meetings with government officials were fruitful. And the visit culminated in one member of our delegation signing a trading contract with a New Zealand business.”
India is also Auckland’s fastest growing market for international students, with a number of them from Kerala. ATEED is strengthening ties with Kerala-based education agents who are in a position to recommend Auckland’s world-class schools and tertiary institutions to their student clients.
This year’s Kerala delegation follows a previous visit to New Zealand last year, and a reciprocal government-led delegation to India focused on ICT opportunities which ATEED took part in.
For more information, please contact:
Garry Gupta, Secretariat, India NZ Business Council. Phone 021 2924519