‘Collaborate to Grow Trade.’ That was the theme of the India New Zealand Business Council’s annual India Unplugged Summit this year.
Though trade between New Zealand and India is poised for growth over the coming years, it is widely acknowledged that trade volumes between the two countries in recent decades has been far below potential.
New Zealand companies need to be more proactive in embracing the Indian market and learn from the increasing numbers of Kiwi companies tasting success in India. That, indeed, was the central message that emerged from INZBC’s sixth annual one-day event on 14 October in Auckland.
Spread over four sessions comprising engaging presentations, stimulating panel discussions and interactive Q&A sessions, participants were drawn from a wide range of entities and business sectors including government, business and export promotion agencies both from India and New Zealand, exporters and Kiwi entrepreneurs who shared their own inspiring success stories from India.
“I was struck by the range of sectors represented at the Summit – from data analytics to dairy; logistics to space! I would like New Zealand businesses to be associated with this innovation and diversity in the Indian mind,” Jeremy Hall, Auckland-based Export Services Manager of the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs & Trade told Kia Ora India after the Summit.
Inaugurating the event Minister of Employment and Associate Minister for Māori Development Willie Jackson said describing India’s potential as vast is an understatement. “It is the fastest growing economy in the world with excellence in farming, high precision manufacturing and IT, opening up more avenues for collaboration. NZ is willing to provide assistance for India’s economic goals particularly in agriculture sector,” he said.
India’s High Commissioner to New Zealand, Muktesh Pardeshi, who took office earlier this year, said while relations between the two countries are friendly and cordial, they are not extensive and deep. There was a need to work together to identify greater linkages including in the cultural and sporting fields in order to broad base and deepen the relationship, he added.
India based author Bharat Joshi, who addressed a session at the Summit agrees: “Many unforeseen benefits accrue from deep and regular people to people exchanges. A direct flight between our countries would surely help expedite both, planned and organic programmes,” he told Kia Ora India.