In a significant development, India and New Zealand engaged in a fruitful discussion aimed at strengthening their economic relationship. During the first round table joint meeting, key topics of conversation included the facilitation of a Unified Payment Interface (UPI) system, carbon credit, trans-shipment hub, technological collaboration, cooperation in work visa and banking. The meeting was co-chaired by Rajesh Agarwal, Additional Secretary of the Department of Commerce, and David Pine, the High Commissioner of New Zealand in India.
Recognising the immense potential for collaboration in various sectors, both sides emphasised the need for synergy to enhance economic relations. The discussions also centred on advancing the objectives of the Joint Trade Committee (JTC), established under the bilateral trade agreement of 1986.
David Pine, the New Zealand High Commissioner, highlighted the importance of collective efforts based on mutual benefits, proportionality, and trade facilitation with involvement from the private sector. He mentioned the report released by the India New Zealand business council in April 2023, which outlined feasible areas of cooperation for economic prosperity. Pine also emphasised the significance of increasing air connectivity between the two countries.
Rajesh Agarwal stressed the need to strengthen existing institutional mechanisms and proposed the establishment of a working group at the joint secretary level to address specific issues. He emphasised that the ideas and cooperative activities should be concretized during the joint trade committee meeting, following discussions at various government-to-government (G2G), business-to-business (B2B), and government-to-business (G2B) interactions.
Representatives from the New Zealand industry and industry associations welcomed the talks as a crucial moment in the economic relationship between the two countries. They called for expediting activities and continuing the dialogue in a structured manner. Both sides unanimously agreed on the importance of more government-to-industry dialogues to achieve concrete mutual benefits.
The Ministry of Commerce and Industry expressed optimism about the outcomes of the meeting, which laid the foundation for enhanced economic cooperation between India and New Zealand.