With the New Zealand Prime Minister’s visit top India now confirmed and all preparations being done, the India New Zealand Business Council’s head of Government relations Wenceslaus Anthony spoke on the upcoming visit. What is the importance of the PM's visit to India now. 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 — the world’s third largest economy.
Other than the two way trade and businesses, nearly 4 per cent of NZ population is of Indian ethnicity; Indian students are now around 29,000; tourists from India have increased to 46,000 and the movie industry is 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, Mr. Modi receives Head of Governments from other countries for strengthening the relationship keeping in line with its foreign Policy.
Hence the visit of the 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.
What do you think the govt of New Zealand should focus on, to achieve from this visit? To invite Mr. Modi to visit us. 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 important for both the countries are tourism, agritech, forestry, food processing, ICT and innovation.
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 Mr. 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 186,000 people of Indian origin in NZ compared to 156,000 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.