Auckland, December 23, 2018
A New Zealand Minister has spoken of the ‘growing importance’ of Kiwi-India relations, while a large potential of commercial and trade opportunities remains untapped.
Whānau Ora, Youth, Community and Voluntary Sector Minister Peeni Henare told a meeting of the India New Zealand Business Council (INZBC) that friendship with India was a priority.
“India’s strong economy, large population and international influence make it a key partner in the Asia-Pacific region. It also represents enormous potential for our exporters,” he said, speaking at the ‘End-of-the-Year Event’ held on December 14, 2018 t Eden Park in Auckland.
Mr Henare said that New Zealand and India had a common interest in the prosperity and stability of the Asia-Pacific region.
“We actively participate in the East Asia Summit and the ASEAN Regional Forum. India is a Post Forum Dialogue partner in the Pacific Islands Forum. We also connect as members of a number of international organisations including the United Nations, the World Trade Organisation, and the Commonwealth,” he said.
Sports Cooperation Agreement
Stating that the two countries have in place, a ‘Sports Cooperation Agreement’ aimed at facilitating greater bilateral youth exchanges, Mr Henare said that as Youth Minister, he is keen that young New Zealanders should experience the richness of Indian culture and become everyday ambassadors for our burgeoning relationship.
The binding Game
Sameer Handa, who is reported to have recently taken charge as INZBC Chair, said that Cricket binds New Zealanders and Indians.
“Today, we choose to dwell on the more informal aspect of the relationship with India, which is Cricket. Cricket and Sports bind the souls of the two countries like nothing else.
’Beach Cricket’ in New Zealand rivals with the ‘Gully Cricket or Street Cricket in India.”
“Cricket has played a significant role in India’s culture for more than 80 years and unites a country of huge diversity. But today, it has also become a big business,” Mr Handa said.
Billion Dollar Industry
INZBC Board Member Earl Rattray said that Cricket is billion-dollar industry.
“The IPL Media Rights (five years) is now worth US$ 2.55 billion and the brand has 11 Blackcaps. The Facebook Page of Blackcaps has more than 800,000 likes by Indians.
INZBC Treasurer Bhav Dhillon described Cricket as ‘A bridge that can span the cultural divide.’
“It is with Cricket that real conversations can be had and it is through Cricket that deals can be made,” he said.
Among the highlights of the event was the launch of ‘Kia Ora,’ a quarterly magazine of INZBC.
Peeni Henare speaking at the INZBC Meeting