With the PM’s visit now confirmed and all preparations being done, INZBC head of Government relations, Mr. Wenceslaus Anthony answered a few of our questions, on the upcoming visit.
1. What is the importance of the NZ PM's visit to India now. [on a bi-lateral relations perspective]?
The relationship between India and NZ is important not only for bilateral relations but also in the Global perspective.
India plays an important role in the International arena and also extend their hand of friendship to other countries to enable them play a greater role. Thus India has extended the hand of friendship to New Zealand. India has demonstrated the friendship with high level dignitary visits from India. The 1st visit of the President of India, Just a few months ago, is a significant step for taking the bilateral relationship to greater level.
New Zealand PM visit this time is important primarily for further strengthening the relationship with India- world’s 3rd largest economy. Other than the two way trade and businesses, nearly 4% of NZ population is of Indian ethnicity; Indian Students are now around 29000; India Tourism has increased to 46000 and Indian Movies including from South India are choosing New Zealand as a favoured location. All these involve people linkages which is also an important focus of the Indian PM.
It is also an important factor that India’s geography, economy, energy demand, large diaspora and the role it plays in various scenario places a great responsibility on the Indian Government with regard to its foreign policy. In this context India’s PM, Modi receives Head of Governments from other countries for strengthening the relationship keeping in line with its foreign Policy.
Hence the visit of the NZ Prime Minister is vital given this background and the meeting of both Prime ministers will be of great significance as we look forward to further strengthening the bond between both the countries.
2. What do you think the govt of NZ should focus on, to achieve from this visit?
What can NZ contribute to the Reforms in the economy which PM Modi is focussing on and how NZ can be part of India’s growth ?
To invite PM Modi to visit NZ.
To strengthen the Political and Commercial Partnership between both the Countries
To discuss about the Education System in New Zealand – International Students , Exchanges and Transfer of knowledge would be an important aspect in forging stronger relationship .
Other Important Sectors which would be Importance for both the Countries- Tourism, AgriTEch, Forestry, Food Processing ,Tourism, ICT and Innovation.
3. How would this visit be any different from the last visit made to India? What in your view, were the tangible achievements from the last visit?
This visit is very significant as we now have PM Modi who has taken India to many parts of the world and many countries are looking at India as one of the possible emerging superpowers of the world.
There are tangible achievements. As mentioned before in terms of Indian Diaspora – we now have around 186000 people of Indian Origin in NZ compared to 156000 in 2011 when Prime Minister John key visited. This itself is a significant achievement in terms of more people of Indian Origin making New Zealand as their home. Numbers of students coming to study in NZ are increasing and so are the numbers of tourists visiting from India including NZ tourists. (around 50000 visited India in 2015.)
4. What is INZBC focussing on during this visit to India?
Trade and Business Ties with India for value Proposition to our members
Advocacy -FTA with India
Promote Advancements and innovation in New Zealand.
How India & NZ can collaborate to work closer in economic areas.
Promote the Message of Education in New Zealand on positive note.
Education Summit in 2017 in New Zealand – Seek Collaborators and Speakers
Lobby on direct flights between India and NZ with airlines and Governments
Promote other areas of growth, like tourism.
4. How does INZBC view it’s participation in the PM’s delegation?
It is an honour to represent INZBC in the PM Mission again in 2016. INZBC has achieved much for India – New Zealand bilateral relations from the 2011 Mission .
Established in 1988, INZBC is the longest-established New Zealand business association that exclusively promotes, develops and maintains bilateral trade, business and services relationships between India and New Zealand. It is independent, inclusive, credible, resourceful, politically influential and relevant to NZ-India and the only one of its kind of 27 years existence in New Zealand. The members represent a wide range of business, sectors, industry and has many corporates.
INZBC would wish to utilise the platform that a Prime Ministerial Mission provides to further raise its profile in India and New Zealand, so as to most favourably reflect on and enhance the interests of its members.
INZBC is seeking to increase and deepen the range of Indian-based collaborations that of FICCI, CII and PHD Chamber of Commerce.
Participation in the Mission will enhance the value proposition that INZBC offers to its members in NZ also.