RNZ | 13 September 2022
Primary industry reps to visit India with hopes of trade deals
Primary industry leaders will be among a trade delegation travelling to India to reignite business to business relationships.
The India New Zealand Business Council is taking the delegation which comprises 20 members representing various industry sectors, from primary sector aviation, education, IT services and finance to India next week.
Representatives from Fonterra, Zespri, industry group Apples and Pears, and the Meat Industry Association will travel as part of the group.
India New Zealand Business Council chair Earl Rattray said the delegation would have three days of meetings with various trade chambers, Indian government officials and will attend the annual conference of The Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry.
He said the visit was happening at the right time, after the Covid-induced lull in trade continuity.
"This is a long-overdue visit by the business community of New Zealand. While we all have our individual engagements with India, having this large delegation which covers a broad cross-section of business interests, conveys a very strong signal that we respect India."
Rattray who has dairy interests in India said the visit was about building relationship equity so that Indian authorities and business sectors alike would see more of what New Zealand businesses have to offer.
"We intend to pave the way for greater engagement of NZ commercial interests with India. None of us participating in this visit have any doubt that India will become much more relevant to New Zealand, and to the entire world in the generations to come. We are embracing India now."
In April, Australia signed a free-trade deal with India giving Australian exporters better access to the multi-billion dollar market.
But at the time, Minister for Agriculture and Trade Damien O’Connor said concluding a free-trade agreement between New Zealand and India was not a realistic short-term prospect.
Rattray said India had become more open to bilateral trade agreements, with the recent signing of the deal with Australia.
"Trade talks with India have gained a new focus and momentum, in New Zealand for many companies like Zespri, the key to growth in India lies in collaboration for new projects."