India and New Zealand Embark on Ambitious Trade and Security Endeavors

Indian Union Minister Piyush Goyal holds a bilateral with the New Zealand Trade Minister Todd McClay to bolster trade ties

Wellington: May 9, 2024: With improved economic and security collaboration, India and New Zealand are beginning a new chapter in their bilateral relations. New Zealand’s “Opening Doors to India” strategy, which was initially launched in October 2011 and reiterated in 2015, is of strategic importance, as this development shows. Winston Peters, the foreign minister of New Zealand, and Todd McClay, the minister of trade, were among the prominent personalities who recently attended high-level talks in New Delhi, where this endeavor was emphasized.

In light of common worries about the stability of the region, Foreign Minister Peters stressed the need of deepening security cooperation between the two countries. The two nations have been actively seeking to expand their cooperation in areas including pharmaceuticals, agriculture, and processed foods, and their economic ties have been flourishing as a result. Recent talks in New Zealand, according to Indian Commerce Secretary Sunil Barthwal, were “constructive and outcome-oriented,” with the goal of strengthening the strong bilateral economic partnership.

The opportunity to increase trade volumes and people-to-people relationships was a major focus of these discussions. Both India and New Zealand have recognized the enormous unrealized potential of their complementary trade relationships. This organized approach to strengthening economic connections was on display during the 11th India-New Zealand Joint economic Committee (JTC) conference as well as in contacts with the India New Zealand Business Council (INZBC) and the New Zealand India Trade Alliance (NZITA).

One of the most important aspects of the relationship has been trade between the two countries. India is the eleventh biggest trade partner for New Zealand. For the fiscal year ending in September 2020, the total amount of the bilateral trade was $1.80 billion USD. Initiated in 2010, both countries are currently engaged in the negotiation process of a balanced and all-encompassing bilateral free trade agreement (FTA). Trade between the two countries is close to NZ$2.2 billion, putting the South Asian behemoth in New Zealand’s top 15 trading partners, according to the country’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

Logs, wood products, fruit, nuts, and educational services are among of New Zealand’s most important exports to India. The Waikato Times cites remarks made by Winston Peters, New Zealand’s foreign minister, who recently expressed the desire to develop air connectivity and strengthen educational links in the interest of establishing a direct flight in the near future.

Some feel that these ties drifted during the COVID-19 pandemic under the previous Labour Government, but now they are being reinvigorated. Renewing and expanding these partnerships is a priority for the current New Zealand administration, headed by National Party leader Christopher Mark Luxon. The goal is to strengthen political engagement, trade, education, tourism, cultural and sports diplomacy, and more.

In recommitting to their alliance, the two nations are sending a strong message that they want to use their respective positions in the Indo-Pacific to promote regional stability and economic development.

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