NZ and India progress economic partnership

New Zealand’s relationship with India took a significant step forward during Trade and Export Growth and Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor’s three-day visit to New Delhi.

“Having a broad economic relationship with India is an important goal for New Zealand and the Government has been working steadily on this,” Damien O’Connor said.

“This is my second visit to India in a year. I have had very positive meetings here with my Indian ministerial counterparts and leaders of India’s business community that have advanced our partnership.

“I was also excited to support the fifty-strong New Zealand business delegation leaders as they explored with their Indian equivalents opportunities to deepen connections between our two countries.

“My meetings have laid the groundwork for a strong economic partnership that supports both countries’ economic development. This included meeting with Air India, the dairy cooperative Amul, and business leaders through the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry as well as the Confederation of Indian Industry.”  

Damien O’Connor and his counterpart Commerce and Industry Minister, Piyush Goyal, set out their priorities for the relationship in a Joint Statement. 

“This is a strong signal of both countries’ priorities in the coming year with our emphasis on building a multi-faceted partnership, with good prospect to introduce new aspects,” Damien O’Connor said.

Key priorities advanced during his talks in New Delhi included:

  • Upgrading the Air Services Agreement with Civil Aviation Minister Hon Jyotiraditya Scindia and discussing prospects for improving air links with India with the private sector. The agreement further liberalises services and will advance code-sharing flight opportunities between Auckland and New Delhi;
  • Progressing primary sector partnerships across agriculture and horticulture with his counterpart Ministers, Hon Parshottam Rupala and Hon Narendra Singh Tomar;
  • Encouraging improved India-New Zealand Ministerial and business-to-business relationship architecture; and
  • Highlighting the importance of partnerships that benefit both countries’ education sectors.

Damien O’Connor also addressed the Confederation of Indian Industry in a state of the relationship speech setting out New Zealand’s aspiration for its relationship with India. The Confederation hosted an event for the Indian and New Zealand business communities to strengthen both countries’ joint vision for a modern economic partnership.

“This has been a very successful visit that has helped progress the prospect of a direct flight between New Zealand and India that will help tourism, business and education,” Damien O’Connor said. 

“More broadly, the priorities agreed this week will help New Zealand businesses bring value into India’s strengthening markets in line with our strategy to diversify our trade opportunities, and grow two-way trade with India.”

Damien O’Connor will next travel to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates for discussions with the Secretary-General of the Gulf Cooperation Council, and his Ministerial counterparts.