India and New Zealand have a lot of common ground and big sectors where they can mutually benefit. That was the main essence of Amitabh Kant’s address. Mr. Kant, the CEO of Niti Ayog, Government of India was on an official visit to New Zealand.
Amitabh Kant was visiting New Zealand as the 2017 Prime Minister’s Sir Edmund Hillary Fellow from April 29-May 6, as a guest of the New Zealand Government. The India New Zealand Business Council [INZBC] and MFAT had jointly organized a dinner for select business leaders to meet and interact with Mr. Kant.
Amitabh sent a very strong positive signal that India wants to work closely with New Zealand in all areas of trade and commerce. He invited the attending business leaders to come forwards and invest in India or collaborate with entrepreneurs in India, for taking the business forward.
The chief executive of the National Institution for Transforming India also claims India is more than ready for a free-trade agreement with New Zealand and is just waiting for Wellington to present an offer on liberalising the services sector to allow Indian companies to compete here.
Mr. Kant appraised the delegates on the good work being done by the current Modi government in bringing fast change to the way the government runs. From the good effects of demonetization, digitization of banking and removal of all old rules and laws, he covered a lot of areas where growth and development can be seen.
Amitabh was also keen that the direct flights from India to NZ should start soon. He was appreciative of the fact that INZBC was there to witness the signing of the code share agreement when the Indian president had come to NZ in 2016.
Mr. Wenceslaus Anthony, Head of Government relations said, “MFAT worked with INZBC to get the top business leaders of the country in one room. We had good representation from all sectors. From heads of banks, to forestry, logistics, cold storage, IT, finance, etc. all major sectors were covered by the attendees.”
Mr. Kant emphasised that Indian PM Modi is an inspiration to all of the business community. He also said, “INZBC is a dependable Strategic Partner for Trade and Business between India and NZ and has both the countries interest always.”
On the meeting with the new Prime Minister, Bill English, he stated that the NZ PM said “I will approach the role in the same positive manner as my friend and predecessor” John Key, i.e to build an enduring and successful partnership with India that will bring in huge rewards for both our countries in the years to come.
INZBC requested Mr.Kant to extend an invitation to PM Modi on its behalf to visit New Zealand- God’s Own Country.
Mr. Sameer Handa, INZBC board member said, “The arrival of Mr. Kant, is very timely, as after de-monitisation, people wanted to know who the economy is doing and what are the opportunities now. His trip has been very positive and gives a boost to the business confidence”.
Earlier, NITI Aayog CEO Mr Amitabh Kant called on the Prime Minister of New Zealand, the Right Honourable Bill English, for a discussion that focused on the importance of our growing bilateral ties. He also interacted with MP Todd Muller, Chair of the Parliamentary Select Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade, who provided a brief on New Zealand’s foreign policy and trade priorities.
About Niti Ayog:
NITI Aayog is the premier policy ‘Think Tank’ of the Government of India, providing both directional and policy inputs. While designing strategic and long term policies and programmes for the Government of India, NITI Aayog also provides relevant technical advice to the Centre and States.
At the core of NITI Aayog’s creation are two hubs – Team India Hub and the Knowledge and Innovation Hub. The Team India Hub leads the engagement of states with the Central government, while the Knowledge and Innovation Hub builds NITI’s think-tank capabilities. These hubs reflect the two key tasks of the Aayog.
Mr. Kant was presented with a Brochure of the INZBC Summit 2017, which is due to be held in the later half of this year.