Chennai Meet for constructive engagement

India-NZ Friendship Association takes a bold initiative

Venkat Raman

An Auckland based businessman has launched an initiative in Chennai to foster better commercial, professional, business and community relations between New Zealand and India.

WAML Group Chairman & Managing Director Wenceslaus Anthony established the India-New Zealand Friendship Association (INZFA) in the Tamil Nadu Capital early this year to connect likeminded persons to interact, exchange information and visits and promote better understanding through networking.

Business Summit 2015

The Association will commence its activities with a Business Summit in Chennai on January 12, 2015. Organised by the Association jointly with the Loyola Institute of Business Administration (LIBA) under the theme, ‘Extending hands of Friendship across Oceans,’ the one-day conference will be held at Hotel Hyatt Regency (located at Anna Salai in Teynampet). The Federation of Chambers of Commerce & Industry, India’s apex business body is the Event Partner.

The Speakers

Among the speakers at the Conference are Commonwealth Foundation Chairman and Former New Zealand Governor General Sir Anand Satyanand, New Zealand High Commissioner to India Grahame Morton, New Zealand’s Consul General (Dubai) and Regional Director, India, Middle East and Africa and New Zealand Consul General, Trade Commissioner (West & South India, Sri Lanka and Maldives) Kevin McKenna and The Warehouse Chief Executive Officer Mark Powell.

Among those representing India at the Conference are External Affairs Ministry Secretary (East) Anil Wadhwa, LIBA Founder-Director Rev Dr Casimir Raj, Former Secretary to Indian President Pejavar Murari, Commerce & Industry Joint Secretary J K Dadoo and India Beachhead Advisor (affiliated to New Zealand Trade & Enterprise) Ashish Hemrajani.

Speakers from INZFA include Mr Anthony, Cemix Managing Director Bhav Dhillon,  Patton Limited Global Chief Executive Sameer Handa, Kalamazoo Group Chairman & Managing Director Steve D’Souza and Newton College of Business & Technology Chief Executive Ashish Trivedi.

The Topics

Among the subjects that would be discussed at the forthcoming Summit are (a) Economic development and collaborative partnership between India and New Zealand (b) An insight into Asia Pacific Business Relations including Trends and Prospects (c) An overview of economic transformation and its impact on business prospects for India in the Asia-Pacific Region and (d) Networking with key stakeholders and eminent personalities from across the globe

Mr Anthony said that while New Zealand and India enjoy cordial relations, it was up to the people to find common grounds for fostering activities as individuals, groups, associations and companies.

LIBA leads

“I am confident that with the right approach and right people INZFA will prove to be a useful organisation bringing together the people of both countries. LIBA is a premier Jesuit Management School in India, which celebrated its 35th anniversary this year. The Institute passionately endeavours to train students to become professionally competent managers pursuing integrity, honesty, transparency and good governance as their core values. LIBA, with its wide range of management programmes, is a leading Business School in India,” he said.

Lofty ideals

INZFA has set for itself lofty ideals and objectives at the core of which is constructive engagement with New Zealand, its companies and people.

“Through its activities, the Association aims to build collaborative partnership for mutual economic development between the two countries. Among the areas of proximate interest are Business, Trade, Investment, Education, Technology, Food Processing, Dairy, Science, Health, Arts & Culture, Entertainment, Tourism and Sports,” Mr Anthony said.

“We hope that the Business Summit will become an annual event at which eminent persons from all over the world with the experience and expertise in a number of areas will deliberate on issues that would be valuable and relevant to the members of INZFA and other delegates,” Mr Anthony said.

Transparency vital

There is a growing feeling that New Zealand needs a credible organisation to promote commercial ties with India and perhaps INZFA could actively pursue activities in New Zealand as well.

The India New Zealand Business Council remains an opaque, ad hoc body, with restricted activities, and a distancing attitude towards the media. With no Free Trade Agreement in sight, relationship between New Zealand and India can be promoted only through a well-structured and focused organisation.

 What:      Business Summit 2015

Who:       India-NZ Friendship Association (Chennai)

Loyola Institute of Business Administration

When:     Monday, January 12, 2015

Where:    Hyatt Regency Hotel, 365 Anna Salai  Teynampet, Chennai, India

INR 5000 ($105) for businesspersons

INR 2000 ($42) for Academics
INR 1000 ($21) for Students

Contact:   Wenceslaus Anthony on 027-4833676 (NZ)


Contact:   Dr Shanthi Venkatesh on +44-28177100 (Extension 174/201) (India)



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