India’s new High Commissioner Ravi Thapar arrived in Auckland along with his wife Sharmila and their daughter Ragini early this morning (December 1).
He will be based in Wellington and commence his tour of duty as the Head of Indian High Commission following presentation of credentials to Governor General Sir Jerry Mateparae at the Government House shortly.
As published in our September 15 & October 1, 2013 issues, Mr Thapar is a career diplomat who has completed various assignments in India’s external affairs ministry and the country’s diplomatic missions in Paramaribo (Suriname); San Francisco (US); Riyadh (Saudi Arabia), Cairo (Egypt) and until recently as Ambassador to Lebanon based in Beirut.
Speaking to Indian Newslink during an informal chat, he said that he would pursue ‘economic diplomacy’ in addition to his political role to find new synergies between India and New Zealand.
“While bilateral relations between the two countries is deep-rooted and friendly, my effort would be to work with all sections of the community to create better awareness of India, the rich potential it offers in all sectors of the two economies. Globalisation and recent developments have underscored the imperativeness of close cooperation between the developed and developing countries of the world. Economic interdependence has become the norm for overall progress and prosperity of nations,” he said.
Even the most advanced countries depend on human resources – talent, expertise and experience, which India can offer, he added.
“Economic momentum is essential for growth and this can be achieved through better interaction between countries,” Mr Thapar said.
“As an emerging economic powerhouse reaching out to new markets, we believe that there is tremendous potential to intensity political, economic, industrial, commercial and social relationship between India and New Zealand,” he added.
Indian Newslink will publish other aspects of its conversation with the new High Commissioner in its next issue.