Sunday, April 14, 2024

Indian trade talks underway

Minister for Trade and Export Growth, Damien O’Connor and India’s Minister of Commerce and Industry, Textile and Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution of India, Shri Piyush Goyal have met in New Delhi.

In a joint statement, the Ministers said the meeting is part of a sustained effort by both governments to develop a broad-based relationship, building on the excellent meeting between the Prime Ministers of both the countries in Port Moresby in May.

“New Zealand and India enjoy strong people-to-people linkages; these extend over a range of activities including commerce, education, and tourism. People of Indian origin in New Zealand are making a strong contribution to all aspects of society. These linkages provide a strong base for advancing our economic cooperation,” the Ministers said.

Both acknowledged the “strong step-up” in engagement between businesses in the two countries, and the desirability of ensuring this provides impetus to the government-to-government dialogue. The importance of the annual meeting of the Joint Trade Committee (JTC), established under the 1986 India-New Zealand Trade Agreement, and regular engagement at a senior level was also acknowledged. Ministers agreed to meet on regular basis, as convenient, for bilateral discussions on trade and investment issues and co-operative activities.

In committing to strengthening the trade and economic relationship, Ministers acknowledged:

  • the intention of both the countries to test new and innovative approaches to economic partnership;
  • that new initiatives should focus on encouraging, facilitating and coordinating collaboration of technology and expertise for genuine mutual benefit;
  • that the opportunities in each other’s markets, which is of interest to businesses of both the countries should be explored;
  • Noted the increase in engagement between both the countries under a collaborative approach that engages officials from across relevant government departments and the private sector, wherever appropriate. The broad and informal engagements are aimed at fresh ideas for new, innovative and productive areas for partnership between both the countries.

The Ministers noted the joint stakeholder consultations held with industries of both the sides and a broad agreement reached to constitute working groups on subjects of mutual interest.

“These would be in addition to and in support of existing initiatives and bilateral consultative forums, designed to strengthen trade and industry cooperation and collaboration activities between both the sides. Amongst others, it includes possible innovative technical collaboration in the field of agriculture and horticulture including Kiwi fruit; pharmaceuticals; processing, storage &transportation etc,” they said.

The Trade Ministers also acknowledged the joint effort to find a feasible alternative to allow the import of wooden logs from New Zealand. Both welcomed the recent commencement of export of Indian mango to New Zealand as well as the progress being made by New Zealand on India’s request for allowing two additional Vapour Heat Treatment facility in India for export of mangoes.

Indian Minister of Commerce and Industry, Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution and Textiles Shri Piyush Goyal.

“Ministers acknowledged the desirability of improving air connectivity between New Zealand and India, and welcomed the finalisation of the Memorandum of Understanding to further liberalise the bilateral Air Services Agreement between the two countries. Ministers noted the desire of both countries’ to deepen existing education ties and identifying new areas of cooperation.”

“Ministers welcomed early discussions between National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) and Payments NZ regarding the Unified Payments Interface (UPI) system and agreed that both sides should continue deliberations on this issue. They agreed that introduction of UPI in New Zealand would promote ease of doing business between both the countries and promote trade and tourism as well.

“Ministers acknowledged the excellent cooperation between India and New Zealand as part of the membership of both the countries in Indo-Pacific Economic Framework for Prosperity across the supply chains, clean economy and fair economy pillars, and the role of the two countries to inform stronger, inclusive, transparent and development oriented economic and trade rules through regional institutions,” the joint statement reads.

The Ministers said they desired to review the progress made by the working groups and the recommendations thereof at regular intervals.

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