29 September 2023
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India and New Zealand held their first Round Table Joint Meeting on Thursday with industries from both nations present in New Delhi.

The meeting was co-chaired by the additional secretary, Department of Commerce, Government of India, Rajesh Agarwal and the High Commissioner of New Zealand in India, David Pine.

During the meeting, both sides acknowledged the current level of bilateral commerce and emphasised on the enormous potential of the India-New Zealand alliance and the need for further economic cooperation in areas of mutual interest.

The discussions also focused on the extension of the objectives set by the Joint Trade Committee (JTC), formed under the Bilateral Trade Agreement of 1986, the official statement said.

In a brief statement, the New Zealand High Commissioner emphasized the importance of joint efforts while keeping in mind the principles of mutual benefit, proportionality, enabling trade, and collaboration with private sectors.

Pine put forth the areas that can be explored together by India and New Zealand. These include the promotion of a Unified Payment Interface (UPI) system, carbon credit cooperation, economic cooperation through sectoral arrangements and working together on specific issues like the comprehensive proposal made by Zespri and prioritization of requests on non-tariff measures for bilateral gains to the businesses of both the sides.

A report by New Zealand Business Council called ‘India New Zealand -Relationship ready for next phase’ was also unveiled at this meeting. The report mentions all the feasible areas of cooperative activities for economic prosperity.

Meanwhile, the additional secretary, of the Department of Commerce, Government of India, Rajesh Agarwal said in a statement that both nations need to strengthen the existing institutional mechanism for improving bilateral trade and emphasized on creation of a structure for working on cooperation and collaboration issues.

He also highlighted the need for a proactive operational framework for mutual benefit by creating working groups which would feed to the Joint Trade Committee with concrete ideas and the solution thereof.

With inputs from ANI

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Abdul Gh Lone