Business Council seeks official recognition

The Wellington based India New Zealand Business Council (INZBC) has called on the Governments of New Zealand and India to recognise it as the official body to represent businesses and trade.

“Such recognition is not only long overdue but also necessary to be meaningful and successful,” Council Chairman Wenceslaus Anthony said.

“This will accord the Council an official status and help in our engagement with relevant associations and organisations to accrue benefits to businesses in both countries. Our focus is to encourage business, trade and constructive engagement between New Zealand and India,” he said.

He identified Agro-Tech, Supply Chain Management, Education, ICT, Aviation, Film Production and Tourism as areas of mutual benefit.

He was speaking at a meeting organised (on March 17) jointly by the Council, the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry and ANZ India at the Trident in Bandra Kurla Complex, where the new Consulate is located.

He was in India along with a delegation led by the Council’s Patron Sir Richard Hadlee to participate in the opening of the office of the New Zealand Consul General in Mumbai and witness the World Cup Cricket match between New Zealand and Sri Lanka at the Wankhade Stadium on March 18.

Early Free Trade Pact?

Immigration Minister Dr Jonathan Coleman, who deputised for Foreign Minister Murray McCully, said his Government was confident of signing a comprehensive Free Trade Agreement with India sooner than later.

“India constitutes the eighth largest export market for New Zealand with total value of bilateral trade at $1.2 billion. We want to make it easier for movement of goods and persons between New Zealand and India,” he said.

But Dr Coleman may have exaggerated the time frame in his enthusiasm (see our Editorial, Free Trade possible but not imminent on Page 12).

Sir Richard said opportunities existed for forging a “unique partnership with India to promote trade, cooperation, investment and friendly ties, through resolve, commitment, and continuous engagement.”

ANZ India Chief Executive Subhas De Gamia said the Bank’s first branch would open by June in Mumbai.

“We will provide institutional banking, trade and finance, foreign exchange and cash management services. The opening of the branch comes at an exciting time for both countries,” he said.

FICCI Western Regional Council Director Dr Vaijayanti Pandit suggested direct flights between New Zealand to India would accelerate bilateral trade.

Among those present were National MP Kanwaljit Singh Bakshi, New Zealand’s High Commissioner Jan Henderson, Mumbai Consul General Gavin Young, New Zealand Trade & Enterprise Regional Director (South East Asia) Alan Kozianski and Cricketer Shane Bond.

The Picture appearing in this section was taken at the opening of the New Zealand Consulate in Mumbai on March 17. It shows (from left) National MP Kanwaljit Singh Bakshi, Consul General Gavin Young, Immigration Minister Dr Jonathan Coleman, Maharashtra Public Health & Protocol Minister Suresh Shetty and New Zealand High Commissioner Jan Anderson

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