New Zealand’s High Commissioner to India Jan Henderson has sought better interaction with New Zealanders living and working in this country.
“It is good to see an increasing number of New Zealanders working in India as a part of their commercial activities. New Zealand has excellent relationship with India and we look forward to signing a Free Trade Agreement between the two countries.
“I would also be happy to enhance the level of contacts and relationship that we have with our fellow New Zealanders here,” she said.
Ms Henderson was speaking at a reception that she hosted on June 27 for New Zealand’s Prime Minister John Key, his wife Bronagh and his accompanying official, business and media delegations on their four-day visit to India.
Trade Minister Tim Groser, India’s High Commissioner to New Zealand Retired Admiral Sureesh Mehta and his wife Teresa were also present at the function.
She said it was a great honour and privilege to have Mr & Mrs Key and their delegation at the New Zealand House (which also has the Diplomatic Mission, Immigration New Zealand and New Zealand Trade & Enterprise) at Edmund Hillary Road in Chanakya Puri (Diplomatic Enclave).
“I thank the Indian Government for according the status of ‘State Visit’ to Mr Key. I welcome the business delegation and hope that we could also have a closer working relationship on cultural and trade matters with India,” she said.
Prominent businesspersons, investors, importers and exporters connected with India were among those who attended the two-hour programme.
Mr Key said that he was delighted to visit India, which he said, was emerging as a major economic power house of the world.
“With the New Zealand economy coming out the recession, we are looking for better trade relations with India which has a huge market. We are well into negotiations for a Free Trade Agreement, which will boost the economies of both countries,” he said.
He described his visit to the Taj Mahal in Agra on June 27 as ‘memorable.’
He said former Black Caps Captain Stephen Fleming (who has accompanied him as a part of his official delegation) continues to be hugely popular in India.
“Cricket is another binding factor between us two nations. I congratulate the Indian Cricket Team for winning the Cricket World Cup in their home country. I hope New Zealand will emulate this feat in the forthcoming Rugby World Cup,” he said.
New Zealand is hosting the global event, which kicks off in September.
Balaji Chandramohan is our Correspondent based in New Delhi