India - New Zealand Relation
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High Commission of India

Wellington, New Zealand

BRIEF NOTE ON INDIA - NEW ZEALAND BILATERAL RELATIONS

India and New Zealand historically share close and cordial ties. Commonalities such as membership of the Commonwealth, upholding of common law practices and pursuing shared aspirations of achieving economic development and prosperity through democratic governance systems for diverse communities in both countries (NZ also has a sizeable Maori and Polynesian population) provide an excellent backdrop for deepening ongoing ties. Tourism and sporting links, particularly in cricket, hockey and mountaineering, have also played a significant role in fostering goodwill between the two countries. Both countries are fellow travellers in their commitment to disarmament, global peace, North-South Dialogue, human rights, ecological preservation and combating international terrorism. People-to-people contacts have flourished since migration from India to this country began at the turn of the last century. A sizeable population of Indian and Indian origin people, numbering approx. 200,000, have made New Zealand their permanent home. There are over 30,000 Indian students in New Zealand. Bilateral relations were established in 1952 between India and New Zealand. NZ identified India as a priority country in its “Opening Doors to India” policy notified in October 2011 which was reiterated by them in 2015.

BILATERAL VISITS

VVIP visits:

East Asia Summit: Hon. Prime Minister of India Shri Narendra Modi and Hon. Prime Minister of New Zealand Jacinda Ardern, met on the side-lines of East Asia Summit held in Manila on 13 Nov 2017 and discussed the entire gamut of bilateral relations.

Visit of NZ Prime Minister to India: Prime Minister John Key paid a state visit to India from 25-27 Oct 2016. He was accompanied by a large business delegation. Besides detailed delegation level talks led by the two Prime Ministers, NZ PM called on Hon’ble President of India. The two sides signed agreements on food safety and on cooperation in the field of youth affairs and sports. The two sides also finalized amendment to the Treaty on Avoidance of Double Taxation. In addition, it was decided to establish a ministerial dialogue, annual Foreign Ministry consultations and a dialogue on cyber security. The two PMs had earlier met on the side-lines of the Nuclear Security Summit on 31st March 2016. Both PMs discussed issues of mutual interest such as tourism, aviation, education and food processing technology.

Visit of Hon’ble President of India to NZ: Hon’ble President of India paid a State visit to New Zealand from 30 April-2 May 2016. Hon’ble President was given a ceremonial welcome by the Governor General of New Zealand followed by a State Banquet. He had substantive meetings with Governor-General Jerry Mateparae, PM John Key and Leader of Opposition Mr Andrew Little. During the visit, an Air Services Agreement was signed between India and New Zealand. Hon’ble President also addressed the Business leaders, gave a lecture at Auckland University of Technology and interacted with the Indian students. An MoU between ICCR and Victoria University to extend the Indian Chair in Wellington was signed at Auckland University of Technology in his presence. He also met the Indian community at a reception.

Other bilateral visits, delegations and meetings:

Year 2018

India to New Zealand:

June 2018: On 1 June, after visiting Tuvalu and Fiji, Hon Ashwini Kumar Choubey, Minister of State for Health and Family Welfare, transited through NZ while returning to India.

May 2018: At the end of May, 30 students from the Victoria University of Wellington, embarked on an MBA study tour to India. Earlier in May, the High Commissioner had addressed the students.

May 2018: From 20-23 May, Hon Jaswantsinh Bhabhor, Union Minister of State for Tribal Affairs, transited through NZ, en route a visit to Samoa.

May 2018: From 25-29 May, as part of the Administrative Staff College of India (ASCI)’s Executive Development Programme, a 12-member delegation from the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) visited Wellington for a study tour on NZ dairying and horticulture.

May 2018: From 20-25 May, a 16-member delegation from the National Defence College visited Wellington, Rotorua and Auckland. They were accompanied by the Defence Attaché based in Canberra.

May 2018: From 7-9 May, Ms Nidhi Tewari, Under Secretary (D&ISA), MEA, attended the ARF Defence Officials' Dialogue (DOD) and ARF Inter-sessional Support Group Meeting on Confidence-Building Measures and Preventive Diplomacy in Auckland.

April 2018: On 24 April, en-route a goodwill visit to Tonga, Hon Mansukh L. Mandaviya, Minister of State for Road Transport & Highways, Shipping and Chemicals & Fertilizers, visited Auckland.

April 2018: From 1-7 April, a 4-member delegation from the Indian Food Safety & Standards Authority (FSSAI) and 1-member from FDA-Maharashtra visited Wellington, Hamilton and Auckland.

New Zealand to India:

April 2018: From 23-25 April, as part of the Track-II Dialogue, the Asia NZ Foundation in partnership with the Victoria University’s NZ India Research Institute, led a 5-member delegation to New Delhi.

February 2018: From 19-23 February, the NZ Chief of Defence Force, Lieutenant General Tim Keating accompanied by a 9-member delegation visited New Delhi, Agra and Mumbai.

January 2018: From 18-19 January, the India NZ Business Council (INZBC), in coordination with the High Commission, led a 10-member NZ business delegation to the Indus Food Expo organised by TPCI in New Delhi.

January 2018: On 9 January, Hon Kanwaljit Singh Bakshi (MP, National Party), Hon Dr Parmjeet Parmar (MP, National Party), Hon Priyanca Radhakrishnan (MP, Labour Party) and Kapiti Mayor K Gurunathan participated in the PIO conference in New Delhi.

Year 2017

India to New Zealand:

November 2017: On 30 November, High Commission organised a business forum in Christchurch to highlight the rise of India in the Ease of Doing Business Index.

November 2017: On 29 November, the INSV Tarini arrived in NZ at Lyttleton Port, Christchurch, on its second leg of its maiden voyage to circumnavigate the globe. Tarini departed NZ on 12 December 2017.

November 2017: From 12-16 November, Hon Speakers of the Manipur, Sikkim and Assam Legislative Assemblies visited Wellington, Queenstown and Auckland respectively.

August 2017: On 4 August, a senior FICCI delegation from India visited NZ to attend the 4th Education Summit hosted by the NZ India Business Council. The High Commissioner was a speaker the event.

July 2017: From 20-21 July, the 6th round of the NZ-India Economic Dialogue was held in Wellington.

June 2017: From 13-17 June, at the invitation of then-NZ Primary Industries Minister Hon Nathan Guy, a 16-member Haryana delegation visited NZ to study-cattle rearing methods.

June 2017: From 7-9 June, Gen. V.K. Singh, Minister of State for External Affairs, was in NZ. He was the Guest of Honour at the Kiwi-Indian Hall of Fame event in Auckland.

May 2017: From 10-14 May, a 20-member high-level Parliamentary delegation from the Maharashtra Legislature, led by the Speaker Maharashtra Legislative Assembly Hon Haribahau Bagde, visited NZ.

April-May 2017: From 30 April-6 May, Mr Amitabh Kant, CEO of National Institution for Transforming India (NITI Aayog), was in NZ as recipient of the Prime Minister's Sir Edmund Hillary Fellowship for 2017.

February-Mar 2017: The High Commissioner held meetings with leading members of the Kiwi-Indian business community in Auckland (15 February) and Wellington (16 March). The focus of discussion was ways and means to strengthen the role in prioritising bilateral trade and investment ties.

New Zealand to India:

December 2017: On 5 December, the India-NZ Foreign Office Consultations were held in Delhi. The Indian side was led by Mrs Preeti Saran, Secretary (East) and Mr Brook Barrington, Foreign Secretary, led the NZ side.

November 2017: On 27 November, the first India-NZ Cyber Dialogue was held in New Delhi. Both sides agreed to hold the next India-NZ Cyber dialogue in NZ in 2018.

November 2017: From November 2017-February 2018, Asia NZ Foundation (non-profit organisation focussed on NZ-Asia relations) sent their first business interns to India.

May 2017: As recipients of the NZ PM’s Scholarship for Asia, business students from the Ara Institute of Canterbury travelled to India in May 2017.

April 2017: At the end of April, nearly 30 students from the Victoria University of Wellington, embarked on a MBA study tour to India. Earlier in March, the High Commissioner had addressed the students.

Year 2016

India to New Zealand:

November 2016: From 16-22 November, INS Sumitra participated in the International Fleet Review in Auckland, to celebrate 75th year of the NZ Navy.

September 2016: From 17-25 September, Hon Speaker of Lok Sabha led a Parliamentary delegation to NZ.

August 2016: On 12 August, Andrea Smith, Deputy Secretary subsequently visited New Delhi, as a Special Envoy of the NZ Foreign Minister.

June 2016: On 7 June, Secretary (East) Mrs Preeti Saran visited Auckland as a Special Envoy and briefed the NZ Foreign Minister on India’s bid for NSG membership.

April-May 2016: From 30 April-2 May, Hon President of India made a state visit to NZ and was given a ceremonial welcome by the Governor-General of NZ, followed by a State Banquet.

April 2016: From 6-10 April, a high-level delegation of UP Branch of Commonwealth Parliamentary Association led by Mr. Azam Khan, Hon. Minister for Parliamentary Affairs, visited NZ.

New Zealand to India:

October 2016: From 25-27 October, then-NZ PM John Key, accompanied by a large business delegation made a state visit to India and held formal talks with Hon. PM of India Shri Narendra Modi, and called on Hon. President of India.

Year 2013 - 2016

India to New Zealand:

June 2015: Indian Minister of Skills Development and Entrepreneurship led a Parliamentary delegation to New Zealand to build links with New Zealand parliamentarians and to discuss opportunities for collaboration in skills development.

July 2013: Minister of Human Resource Development, Education, Dr MM Pallam Raju visited to discuss the education relationship through the India-New Zealand Education Council.

April 2012: Speaker of the Lok Sabha, Meira Kumar and a group of Indian Members of Parliament came to New Zealand as guests of the New Zealand Parliament.

September 2011: Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Preneet Kaur, participated in the Pacific Islands Forum (PIF) post-Forum Dialogue.

New Zealand to India:

September 2015: Minister Amy Adams visited India with a clean technology business delegation.

November 2014: Minister Michael Woodhouse visited Mumbai to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with six key Indian tour operators under the Tourism Industry Partnership programme.

November 2014: Minister Nathan Guy led a business delegation to Mumbai and New Delhi in the lead up to the Cricket World Cup co-hosted by New Zealand.

November 2013:  Foreign Affairs Minister Murray McCully attended the Asia-Europe meeting.

June 2013: Foreign Affairs Minister Murray McCully visited New Delhi for high level engagement across the bilateral relationship.

SECTOR-WISE COOPERATION BETWEEN INDIA AND NEW ZEALAND

Cooperation in the Agriculture Sector: The Indian Farmers Fertiliser Co-operative Limited (IFFCO), Fonterra Co-operative Group and Global Dairy Health signed a MoU in November 2010 for jointly conducting a feasibility study on a pilot dairy farm in India as a first step towards the vision of establishing large-scale world-class dairy farms in India. Fonterra opened its first office in India in early 2013. The Ministry of Agriculture of India and the Ministry for Primary Industries of New Zealand signed an Official Assurance Programme for the Export of Mangoes from India to New Zealand in New Delhi on 17 July 2012, for facilitating export of mangoes to New Zealand from the approved VHT facilities. The last Bilateral Technical Quarantine Meeting was held in New Delhi on 28 May 2014. Both countries are currently negotiating a MOU on cooperation in agriculture, dairying and fisheries.

Cooperation in the field of S&T: A Protocol for Cooperation on Science and Innovation was signed between the two countries during PMJK’s visit to India in June 2011. As a follow-up, a six-member NZ delegation visited India from 24-26 May 2012 to hold meetings with the Department of Science & Technology. The two sides agreed that India and NZ would be launching a joint call for collaborative R&D proposals. Areas of cooperation mentioned in the meeting were food & dairy research, Ocean science/polar research. However, in view of the ongoing restructuring of its Ministry of Science and Innovation (Technology), a confirmation on this proposal is required from the NZ side. Dr. A. Mitra, Adviser & Head, International Bilateral Division, Department of S&T, led a two-member Indian delegation for the first meeting of the Joint Science & Technology Committee, held at Wellington during 26-29 August 2013. During the deliberations, two projects viz. ‘Developing Probiotic Foods for India’ and ‘Development of antioxidant efficacy assays’, were identified for joint funding. On 09 March 2015, NZ Chief Science Advisor visited India for a meeting with Secretary DST. The 3rd India-New Zealand Joint Committee Meeting on Science & Technology Committee was held in New Delhi on 23rd May 2016. NZ side was led by Dr. Pure Williams, General Manager, Science Investment, Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment and India side was led by Dr. Arabinda Mitra, Head International Bilateral Cooperation, Dept of S&T.

Cooperation in the Education Sector: As part of the Prime Ministers’ Education Initiative, announced during PM John Key’s visit in June 2011, the two countries have set up an India-New Zealand Education Council. The inaugural meeting of the Council was held in New Delhi on 19th October 2012 during which six MoUs of cooperation between different institutions were also signed. Establishment of the New Zealand-India Research Institute (NZIRI) was also announced during Minister Steven Joyce’s visit to India in October 2012. The Institute was formally launched in Wellington in August 2013. Next meeting of the India-New Zealand Education Council will be held in India. NZ has recently announced NZ Excellence Awards, allocating 35 scholarships of NZ$5000 across all eight major NZ universities for Indian students.

Cooperation in Defence Sector: The New Zealand Government is keen to enhance defence cooperation. Its Defence Adviser to India, then based at Wellington, undertook his first accreditation visit to India in October 2012. From 2014 onwards, New Zealand’s Canberra-based Defence Adviser has been accredited to India. NZ is now planning to post a DA at its Mission in Delhi. HMNZS ‘Te Mana’ of the Royal NZ Navy visited Mumbai in January 2014. Rear Admiral J. R. Steer, Chief of Royal New Zealand Navy, also paid an official visit to India in January 2014. India’s Vice-Chief of Army Staff Lt. Gen. Krishna Singh visited New Zealand for the 8th Pacific Armies Chief Conference held at Auckland from 9-11 September 2013. Indian Navy participated in the 75th anniversary celebrations of the Royal NZ Navy held in November 2016.

BILATERAL ECONOMIC & COMMERCIAL RELATIONS

In 2011, NZ launched the NZ Inc India Strategy, aiming to make India a core trade, economic and political partner for New Zealand. India was NZ’s 11th largest two-way trading partner (2017) with total trade in both goods and services valued at US$1.91b. Education and tourism have emerged as growth sectors with increasing numbers of both categories coming from India to NZ.

  • NZ goods exports to India: NZ goods exports to India were valued at US$485.71m, mostly consisting of - logs and forestry products (US$193.57m), mineral fuels & oils (US$55.82m), wood pulp (US$32.14m), wool (US$27.85m) and edible fruit & nuts (US$24.28m).

  • NZ goods imports from India: Goods imports into NZ from India were valued at US$423.57m, mostly consisting of – pharmaceuticals/medications (US$50m), precious metals & gems (US$42.14m), textiles and motor vehicles (US$25m each) and non-knitted apparel and accessories (US$19.28m).


NZ Exports to India

NZ Imports from India

Total

Trade


Goods

Services

Goods

Services

2017

US$485.71m

US$805m

US$423.57m

US$189.28m

US$1.91b

2016

US$456.42m

US$794.28m

US$404.28m

US$176.42m

US$1.83b

2015

US$455.71m

US$564.28m

US$411.42m

US$144.28m

US$1.57b


Free Trade Agreement:
New Zealand and India agreed to undertake a joint study into the implications of a free trade agreement (FTA) in 2007 and negotiations for a FTA between India and New Zealand commenced in April 2010. The 10th round of negotiations took place in New Delhi from 16-18 February 2015. Chief Negotiators exchanged views on the progress made so far on the side-lines of the RCEP negotiations held in Auckland in June 2016.

Commercial engagement: Commercial engagements grew further in 2016, with two-way expansion of businesses between NZ and India. Some leading NZ companies established substantial business undertakings in India such as:

  • Gallagher Group: deployed security systems in the Indian Parliament, ISRO & other key locations.

  • Sealegs: supplied amphibious motor boats to the Mumbai Police.

  • Hamilton Jet: supplied water propulsion jet engines for the patrol boats of the Indian Coast Guard.

  • Glidepath: supplied air cargo handling systems / conveyor belts at many of India’s leading international airports.

  • Quality NZ: an influential trading group supplying high-quality seafood, meat products, fruits, wine to various five-star hotels in India (has significant ownership interests by leading NZ cricketers).

  • Redesign Group: involved in designing of shopping malls and other projects at major, Indian international airports etc.

With respect to Indian foray into NZ, all major Indian IT companies are present in New Zealand. Bank of India, Bank of Baroda and New India Assurance also have commercial operations in NZ. In 2014, ONGC Videsh Limited was awarded oil and gas exploration permits by the New Zealand Government, enabling ownership rights for 12 years for undertaking offshore hydrocarbon exploration along the Taranaki coast in New Zealand’s North Island region. In October 2016, Zindia Limited (the largest exporter of NZ logs to India) signed a MOU with Adani Port and SEZ Limited to promote a Timber Industrial Park at Mudra Port in Gujarat. An Agriculture Summit was organized by India NZ Business Council (INZBC), in collaboration with High Commission of India in June 2016, to enhance potential of two-way trade in the sector. INZBC and the Indian High Commission also co-hosted an event in February 2016 in Auckland to provide greater momentum to the ‘Make in India’ initiative. The event was well attended by noted businessman from New Zealand and NZ government representatives. A business delegation from NZ participated in the Indus Food Exhibition at Greater Noida in January 2018.

Tourism growth: As on year ended Dec 2017, international visitor arrivals from India to NZ increased by 18.1% to 61,440. This makes India the 9th-fastest growing source for tourists to NZ, ahead of Singapore, Hong Kong and Malaysia. As on year ended Dec 2017, NZ resident-traveller departures to India rose to 71,900 (+14.3% from 2016).

CO-OPERATION IN THE CULTURAL FIELD

Independence Day: Indian Independence Day is celebrated each year by the Mission in association with Indian organizations in Wellington and across major cities in New Zealand. In 2017, India@70 was a grand cultural event organized by the Mission with support from the Indian Ministry of Culture, bringing in cultural groups from India and was attended by over 1200 people in the cities of Wellington and Auckland. The guests included the former Governor General of NZ The Rt Hon Sir Anand Satyanand, and several members from the NZ Parliament, NZ Govt bodies, Diplomatic Missions, City Council members and other distinguished guests. For this occasion, for the very first time the Auckland War Memorial Museum Tāmaki Paenga was lit up in the colours of the Indian Flag and the Indian tricolour was hoisted alongside the NZ Flag at the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa in Wellington. The NZ Parliament passed a resolution to congratulate India on its journey. The Mission organized a poster drawing and essay writing competition for all students which was met with a great response. In 2018, in a historic first, High Commissioner’s initiative brought all Indian organizations and the Indian diaspora under one roof to jointly celebrate the occasion.

Diwali: In light of the support by the ICCR/New Zealand organizations and initiative by the local Indian community, there have been many visits of dance troupes from India and other cultural events are also often held. Since 2002, Diwali has been recognized as the representative festival of the Indian community in New Zealand, and week-long celebrations are organized every year by the Asia-New Zealand Foundation in all the major cities of NZ under the aegis of the respective City Councils. Diwali is celebrated in all major cities in NZ.

Ambedkar Jayanti: A special function was held in the New Zealand Parliament on 10 May 2016 to remember Dr. B.R. Ambedkar. The Prime Minister of New participated in the event and also unveiled a statue of Dr. Ambedkar.

Yoga Day: High Commission celebrated the fourth International Day of Yoga in Wellington and other important cities in New Zealand on 24 June 2018. There was an enthusiastic response at these events.

Gandhi Jayanti: The unveiling of a life size statue of Mahatma Gandhi in Wellington by the Governor General and the Mayor on October 2, 2007 underlined the commitment of peoples of both countries to shared values of peace, non-violence and international cooperation. Wellington City Council in cooperation with local Indian organizations and this Mission celebrate Mahatma Gandhi’s Birth every year.

Constitution Day: The Constitution Day was celebrated in Auckland on November 27, 2016.

Indian Community. Of the 200,000 strong Indian Diaspora about 75,000 persons are estimated to be of Indian passport holders and 125000 are PIOs. Out these PIOs, 35,000 persons are estimated to be of Fijian-Indian descent. They mainly hail from Gujarat and Punjab and are concentrated in Auckland, Hamilton, Wellington and Christchurch. Most of them are engaged in grocery business and dairy farming. There are also several professionals including doctors, professors, engineers, chartered accountants and computer experts. Most people of Indian origin have acquired New Zealand citizenship. There are Indian Associations in ten major towns, which help the community nurture its cultural heritage. Currently there are three Indian origin MPs in the New Zealand Parliament. In 2016, more than 10,500 Indians came to New Zealand on long-term visa.

Indian Students: The number of Indian students has significantly increased over the last few years and India is the 2nd largest source of students to NZ (after China), with over 30,000 Indian students in NZ. However, there was a fall in the number of Indian students arriving in NZ in the second half of 2016 and in 2017. The fall was attributed to tighter rules and monitoring of student visa applications from India, due to many students arriving with inadequate money to support themselves and with limited English skills. A number of students have been deported over the last few months after they were found to have secured admission on the basis of fraudulent documents. Mission was confronted with a number of issues concerning Indian students which related to multiple government agencies in New Zealand. Mission has institutionalized a system of a quarterly combined meeting with the representative of government bodies such as Foreign Office, Immigration NZ, Education NZ and NZ Quality Assurance.

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(September 2018)



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