Piyush Goyal, who holds the portfolio of Minister of Commerce and Industry, Textile and Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution in India, engaged in a bilateral conference with Hon Damien O’Connor, the Minister responsible for Trade and Export Growth in New Zealand.
The meeting took place in New Delhi today. This encounter marks a consistent endeavour from both nations to foster a comprehensive partnership, leveraging the fruitful talks between the Prime Ministers of India and New Zealand that took place in Port Moresby on May 22, 2023.
New Zealand and India share robust human connections that span across diverse domains including trade, education, and tourism. The Indian community in New Zealand is significantly contributing to various aspects of society. These deep-rooted ties lay a sturdy foundation for enhancing economic collaboration.
The Ministers acknowledged the heightened engagement between businesses in the two countries, emphasising the potential for this to drive government-level discussions. The significance of the annual meeting of the Joint Trade Committee (JTC), which originated from the 1986 India-New Zealand Trade Agreement, was recognised, along with the importance of consistent high-level communication. The Ministers concurred to convene periodically for bilateral deliberations on trade, investment matters, and collaborative initiatives.
In their commitment to enhancing the trade and economic relationship, the Ministers acknowledged:
- The shared intent of both nations is to experiment with novel and inventive methods of fostering economic collaboration.
- The necessity for fresh initiatives to concentrate on promoting, easing, and coordinating the exchange of technology and expertise for genuine mutual advantage.
- The importance of exploring prospects within each other’s markets that attract the interest of businesses from both countries.
They recognised the upsurge in interaction between the two nations through a cooperative strategy that engages officials from pertinent government departments and the private sector, whenever suitable. These comprehensive and informal interactions are aimed at generating innovative concepts for novel, inventive, and productive areas of partnership between the two countries.
The Ministers expressed contentment in observing the collective consultations held with industries from both sides, resulting in a broad consensus to establish task forces on subjects of shared interest. These groups will complement and support ongoing initiatives and bilateral consultative forums, all designed to bolster trade and industry cooperation, as well as collaborative endeavours between the two nations.
These initiatives encompass potential pioneering technical partnerships in domains such as agriculture and horticulture, including the Kiwi fruit sector, pharmaceuticals, as well as processing, storage, and transportation.
Regarding trade facilitation, the Ministers took note of collaborative efforts aimed at identifying a practical solution to enable the import of wooden logs from New Zealand. They extended a warm welcome to the recent commencement of Indian mango exports to New Zealand and acknowledged the advancements being made by New Zealand in response to India’s request to establish two additional Vapour Heat Treatment facilities within India, facilitating mango exports.
The Ministers recognised the necessity of enhancing air connectivity between India and New Zealand. They greeted the finalisation of a Memorandum of Understanding, which aims to further expand the liberalisation of the bilateral Air Services Agreement between the two countries. The Ministers also acknowledged the shared aspiration to strengthen current educational connections and explore novel areas of collaboration.
In a significant development, the Ministers expressed appreciation for the preliminary discussions between the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) and Payments NZ concerning the Unified Payments Interface (UPI) system.
They jointly agreed to continue deliberations on this matter. They concurred that the implementation of the UPI system in New Zealand would facilitate smoother business operations between the two nations and stimulate trade and tourism.
Commending the outstanding collaboration between India and New Zealand as active participants in the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework for Prosperity, encompassing facets such as supply chains, environmental sustainability, and equitable economics, the Ministers acknowledged the pivotal role both nations play in shaping stronger, transparent, inclusive, and development-oriented economic and trade regulations through regional institutions.
The Ministers expressed their intention to periodically review the progress achieved by the working groups and the resultant recommendations.