Education and services sector is a very vital part in the New Zealand economy and collaboration alone can help it grow. The industry has to look at new ways of working with overseas companies and create new pathways, which is a win-win for both NZ & India.
This was the essence of the talks given by various industry heads and policy makers at the INZBC Summit 2017. ‘The Education Summit’ was organised by the India New Zealand Business Council (INZBC), at Auckland, on 4th August 2017; under the theme, ‘Knowledge, Skill and Technology’. The one-day event has been supported by the Indian High Commission and the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI). Other government agencies involved were Education NZ, NZTE and MFAT. Westpac and Weltec & Whitireia were the strategic partners of the Summit.
Heavy political representation
The Summit saw a very heavy political representation, right from the Prime Minister - Bill English, to the Minister for Trade - Todd McClay, Minister for Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment - Paul Goldsmith; Minister for Commerce & Small Business - Jacqui Dean. Labour Party was represented by Michael Wood, as spokesperson for Ethnic Communities.
The Prime Minister laid emphasis on the importance of migrants getting new skills into the country and helping in the growth of the economy. He said that the education sector helps in this process of skill development, which is very vital for the economy.
Todd McClay, while referring to the FTA negotiations said that the talks will go further after elections and he hopes to meet the commerce minister of India, if elected back, to take the negotiations forward. He also said that special attention would be giving to the services sector and the education industry, so that they also get benefits out of the FTA.
Delegation from India
The Summit saw a strong delegation of heads of educational institutions, organized by the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI), the oldest trade chamber in India. The delegation saw big-wigs of the industry like, Mohandas Pai (Chair-FICCI Skills Committee & Chairman - Manipal Global Education), Dr Ranendra N Saha (Director, BITS Dubai), Prof. Rupamanjari Ghosh (Vice Chancellor-Shiv Nadar University), Prof Indira Parikh (Founder President, Antardisha), and many more.
Speaking on the Summit, Dr. A Didar Singh, Secretary General - FICCI said, “Changing technology impacts the business of education and skill development. New Zealand should look at India for opportunities in services like education, healthcare etc., in addition to manufacturing sector. INZBC & FICCI collaboration and partnership can play a facilitating role in this direction.”
Five Day schedule for the delegation
Dr. Singh, who lead the delegation was happy that the delegation could travel all over New Zealand and have B2B meetings, before the Summit. The delegation had visits to University of Canterbury, ARA Institute and Lincoln University in Canterbury. Later they had a meeting of the India-NZ Friendship group at the Parliament in Wellington, organized by MP Bakshi. The delegates had a visit to the Weltec & Whitiera campus in Wellington. They then had B2B meetings in Auckland, followed by a dinner with the sponsors.
INZBC treasurer, Bhav Dhillon says, “This Summit and the business meetings conducted are a testament of the fact that INZBC is a national level organisation with very good teams in Christchurch and Wellington as well. We are happy that all stakeholders and delegates were satisfied with the level and quality of the meetings. We are positive of the outcomes of these meetings”.
New Partnerships for INZBC
At this summit, new partnerships were announced by INZBC.
Weltec & Whitiera have joined Westpac as our Strategic Partners. The partnership is a commitment by both WelTec and Whitireia to the Indian Market in opening new doors for business, engaging with policymakers to gain new perspectives on Learning and Innovation Priorities, and exploring future collaborations with Indian education institutions, and other partners across the creative, film, entertainment, health, corporate and government sectors, with the assistance of both INZBC and FICCI, the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry.
INZBC has also signed an MOU with the NZ Asian Leaders Organisation.
Working together to promote diversity within businesses, influence policy and trade implication, NZAL and INZBC will utilize the expertise and experience of its thought leaders to increase New Zealand's India capability through mini-policy summits and the India Unplugged series.
Education NZ Excellence Awards
Another highlights of the Summit was that thirty-one talented young university students from India received a 2017 New Zealand Excellence Award, by Education New Zealand (ENZ). The students are pursuing undergraduate or postgraduate study in New Zealand in the fields of business, design or STEM related programmes (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics).
ENZ Chief Executive Grant McPherson said, “India is a core trade, economic, political and education partner for New Zealand, with two-way trade valued at around $2.5 billion.”
“These top young scholars will further strengthen ties between our two countries, by contributing to a broader exchange of ideas in our universities, building our respective research capabilities, and enriching New Zealand culture," Mr McPherson said.
Nineteen of the students received their awards in person at the Summit. This is the first round of the awards, and each scholarship has a value of NZD $5,000 towards the first year tuition fee.
Shobha Mishra Ghosh, the Asst. Secretary general of FICCI who also led the delegation said, “Education has been the driver of any developed economy globally. India too is focused on making its education sector robust and is looking at collaboration with countries that will be mutually beneficial. New Zealand holds a lot of opportunity particularly in areas of high end IT, animation, creativity, design, etc. India is one of fastest growing economies in the world today. India, and with it's social, economic, cultural, geography diversity and strengths in frugal innovation, life sciences, IT, etc. provides immense opportunities for students from New Zealand as well.”
With 25 speakers and around 50 attending companies, the Summit saw a good participation from the length and breadth of the country, having a representation from almost all Universities and institutes in New Zealand.