The members of the India NZ Business council, recently had an opportunity to meet the Mayor of Auckland, Hon. Phil Goff. During the meet, he shared his vision on development of the city and gave his thoughts on FTA with India. The event was held on Wednesday, 29th March 2017 at Auckland Institute of Studies.
The Mayor informed the members about the ongoing development of Auckland and talked about improvement of public transport, specially from Airport to CBD. He emphasised on the requirement of support from the government to do this. Phil said, “As Auckland is New Zealand’s only worlds-class city, the central government also needs to pitch in to the cost of the development”.
His rational was simple, if the central government wants the share of the taxes, they have to give the due share in funding for developmental work.
He further added, “To keep this city world-class and pollutions free, we need to take steps for making public transport more feasible and extensive”.
The Mayor also touched upon the education sector, saying the focus should be on quality of students and not the quantity. He said that in the recent episode of the Indian students that suffered on the hands of the agents, the responsibility should fall on the agents as well.
Mayor spoke to the members that came from various industries. Phil Goff said, “India and New Zealand has a lot in common, still we haven’t achieved that potential with the trade. Asia has the most dynamic economy of the world and India has the second highest population with fastest growing economy”.
He reiterated that there is no other way, than having good trade ties with a country like India. However, a good quality FTA can take some time.
On the trade side, he also said we need to work on the tariff of goods, to make it feasible for NZ market also to penetrate the other countries. He gave the example of New Zealand’s wine industry, which makes world-class wines. However, we get left behind due to tariff issues.
He mentioned about the fact that Air New Zealand should have direct flights from India to New Zealand, starting with Mumbai to Auckland. This will not only help the people with travel but also help the businesses and tourism to grow. ‘I am a great supporter for this cause”, he said.
Mayor Phil Goff was very happy with the event and he commented, “This was an opportunity for me to discuss and exchange the views on Auckland’s development that can have positive impact on the economy of NZ”.
He congratulated INZBC on the work being done by the council in promoting trade and keeping the momentum with series of events and talks.
Mr. Wenceslaus Anthony, Head of Government Relations said, “INZBC has been working closely with the Auckland council to promote Auckland as a business hub. INZBC always invite foreign delegates to Auckland for the business events and trade fairs to promote Auckland city as the destination of trade in New Zealand”.
Treasurer of the council, Bhav Dhillon said, “Central govt. and Local govt should work together for the growth of Auckland, which will have a positive impact on the economy of the country”. He added, “These kinds of events will help the businesses to grow more”.
Hon. Phil Goff was presented with a Brochure of the INZBC Summit 2017, which is due to be held in the later half of this year.