Employers and Manufacturers Association (EMA) and New Zealand India Trade Alliance (NZITA) have signed a ‘Special Relationship Agreement’ aimed at boosting commercial ties between New Zealand and India.
EMA (Northern) Chief Executive Brett O’Riley, who signed the Agreement with NZITA Chairman Giri Gupta at the office of Grant Thornton in Auckland on Monday, July 15, 2019, said that the two organisations would work closely and connect on trade, commerce and industry.
Areas of Cooperation
“We look forward to working together with NZITA, particularly in relation to innovation, entrepreneurship and start-ups, and providing practical help to their members on doing business in New Zealand,” he said.
Mr O’Riley said that the Agreement would enable the two organisations to take a more collaborative approach on mutual interests.
“The Indian business community in New Zealand is a very strong one, and we see how rapidly it is growing and contributing to our economy, especially in Auckland,” he said.
Mr Gupta described the potential and opportunities in India as ‘huge.’
“New Zealand and India are ambitious to grow their economies and enjoy the benefits that can come from two-way trade. India’s economic growth has been booming. It is currently the world’s sixth largest economy and Prime Minister (Narendra) Modi has expressed a hope that it will be within the top three in the next 15 years,” he said.
Mr O’Riley said that EMA and NZITA would like to see the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) progress towards a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) that would benefit two-way trade and investment.
But Indian Newslink has always maintained that a Comprehensive FTA between the two countries suffers from many imponderables and hence talks over the past 12 years have remained inclusive.
However, a ‘Selective FTA’ could become a reality, if New Zealand agrees to India’s offer to open up into Services Sector.
Mr Gupta said that the India is a growing market of 1.3 billion people and has an expanding middle class with a rising demand for quality goods and services that New Zealand can offer.
“The absence of a FTA, however, is not a barrier to companies wanting to do business in India, this is where the Special Relationship Agreement between the NZITA and the EMA will help open doors and create bi-lateral opportunities,” he said.
Giri Gupta and Brett O’Riley display the Special Relationship Agreement, watched, among others, by NZICA Deputy Chairman Dr Richard Worth and Secretary General Sunil Kaushal (respectively third and sixth from left). (Picture Supplied).