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Bilateral Relations

BRIEF ON INDIA-NEW ZEALAND RELATIONS

India and New Zealand have cordial and friendly relations rooted in the linkages of Commonwealth, parliamentary democracy and the English language. The two countries have been fellow travelers in their commitment to disarmament, global peace, North-South Dialogue, human rights, ecological preservation and combating international terrorism.  People-to-people contacts have been in focus since migration from India to this country began at the turn of the last century, and a sizeable population of Indian origin (estimated about 175,000) has made New Zealand its permanent home. Tourism and sporting links, particularly in cricket, hockey and mountaineering, have played a significant role in fostering goodwill between the two countries.  

            Bilateral relations were established in 1952 between India and New Zealand.  NZ has identified India as a priority country in its “Opening Doors to India” policy notified in October 2011 which was reiterated by NZ in 2015. 

Visit to NZ Prime Minister to India:  Prime Minister John Key paid a state visit to India from October 25-27, 2016. He was accompanied by a large business delegation. Besides details 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. Both countries also finalized an 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 crisis. 

Visit of Hon’ble President of India to New Zealand: Hon’ble President of India paid a State visit to New Zealand from April 30 to May 2, 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 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.

Recent Ministerial/High level visits: Hon’ble Speaker Lok Sabha led a Parliamentary delegation to New Zealand from September 17 to 25, 2016. Besides her meetings with Speaker David Carder and other interaction with NZ Parliamentarians, she met Acting Prime Minister Bill English. Prime Minister, H.E. John Key accompanied by Mrs. Bronagh Key paid a state visit to India from June 26-30, 2011. He was accompanied by the Trade Minister Hon. Tim Groser and Member of Parliament, Mr. Kanwaljit Singh Bakshi, senior officials and a business and media delegation. He called on Hon’ble President and Vice –President, held talks with Hon’ble Prime Minister besides meeting with the External Affairs Minister, Chairperson, UPA and the Leader of the Opposition. Prime Minister John Key also addressed a business luncheon organized jointly by CII, FICCI and ASSOCHAM. Two agreements were signed during the visit- (i) Agreement on Audio-visual Cooperation; and (ii) Protocol for Cooperation on Science and innovation. The only Prime Ministerial visit from India was that of Shri Rajiv Gandhi in 1986.

            A multi-party Parliamentary Goodwill delegation from India led by Shri Rajiv Pratap Rudy, Hon’ble Minister of State(Independent Charge) for the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship and Parliamentary Affairs visited New Zealand from June 1-3, 2015. A delegation led by Justice A.K. Mathur, Chairman of the 7th Central Pay Commission visited New Zealand from 26-29 October 2015.A high-level delegation of UP Branch of Commonwealth Parliamentary Association led by Mr. Azam Khan, Hon’ble Minister for Parliamentary Affairs visit New Zealand from 06-10 April 2016. 

            NZ Minister of Justice, Courts, Broadcasting and Communication led a trade and business enterprise delegation to India from September 20-25, 2015. The purpose of the visit was to promote trade and enterprise between India and New Zealand in clean technologies, renewable energy, smart cities and information and communication technology. 

            Hon’ble Prime Minister met NZ PM John Key on the sidelines of the Nuclear Security Summit 31st March 2016. Both PM discussed issues of mutual interest such as tourism, aviation, education, food processing technology and bollywood. 

            An Indian Naval Ship INS Sumitra participated in the International Fleet Review to celebrate 75th Year of New Zealand Navy at Auckland from November 16 to 22, 2016. 

Foreign Office Consultations: The India-New Zealand Foreign Office Consultations were held on 8th April 2015.

Foreign Minister Murray MuCully’s Visit to India: NZ Foreign Minister visited India on 4th June 2013. During his visit he held bilateral meetings with Hon’ble EAM, CITM, Sports Minister and NSA. Besides progress on FTA, a high priority for NZ, other bilateral/regional issues were also discussed. NZFM also attended the Asia-Europe Foreign Ministers’ [ASEM] FMs Meet in New Delhi in November 2013.

VVIP visits from India: 

Sr. No

Date

Dignitary

1

1968

Smt. Indira Gandhi, Hon’ble Prime Minister

2.

1986

Shri Rajiv Gandhi, Hon’ble Prime Minister

3.

30April-2May 2016

Shri Pranab Mukherjee, Hon’ble President of India

 (b)       VVIP visits from New Zealand: 

Sr. No.

Date

Dignitary

1.

1960s

PM Walter Nash

2.

1970s

PM Norman Kirk

3.

1980s

P M David Lange

4.

Oct’2004

PM Helen Clark

5.

Sept 2008

Governor General Anand Satyanand

6.

Oct 2010

Governor General Anand Satyanand

7.

Jan 2011

Governor General Anand Satyanand

8.

Jun’ 2011

Prime Minister John Key

9.

Oct 2016

Prime Minister John Key

Agreements between the two countries:  

  • Trade Agreement - October 1986
  • Agreement on avoidance of Double Taxation - October, 1986
  • Civil Aviation Agreement between India and New Zealand August 1997
  • MOU on Scientific and Technical Cooperation between ICAR and Horti Research of New Zealand - March 1998
  • MoU on Technical Cooperation between Department of Agriculture and Cooperation, Ministry of Agriculture, GOI and Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry Regulatory Authority of New Zealand on Cooperation on Plant Quarantine Issues, April 1999
  • Arrangement between India and New Zealand for cooperation in the area of Information Technology, December 2001.
  • MoU between Indian Institute of Carpet Technology (IICT) and the Wool Research Organisation of New Zealand (WRONZ), May 2003
  • MOU on Cooperation between the Indian Council of World Affairs and the New Zealand Institute of International Affairs, November 2008
  • Education Cooperation Arrangement, April 2010
  • MOU between Indian Council for Cultural Relations and Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand, for establishment of Council’s short-term Chair in India’s International Relations and/or Indian Politics at the University; September 2010.
  • Agreement on Audio-visual Cooperation.
  • Protocol for Cooperation on Science and innovation.
  • Bilateral Air Services Agreement on 1st May 2016.
  • An MoU between ICCR and Victoria University to extend the Indian Chair in Wellington on 2nd May 2016.
  • MoU on Food Security between Food Safety and Standards Authority of India and the Ministry of Primary Industry of New Zealand on 26 Oct 2016.
  • MoU on Cooperation in Youth Affairs and Sports on 26 Oct 2016.  

 Bilateral Economic & Commercial Relations 

            Bilateral trade figures in US $ (millions) for the last three- years are as under: 

Year

2013

2014 

2015 

Exports to India

587.74

498.15

419.84

Imports from India

355.67

406.85

379.02

         As per NZ figures, total trade in both goods and services in 2015 amounted to US$ 1.45bn.[ Two way trade in goods US$ 798.86mn and in services US$652.13mn]

       While there has been a marginal decline in trade of goods, figures from the New Zealand authorities indicates that trade in services has shown a considerable uptrend. The decline in Indian export was spread across items such as machinery, vehicles, articles of iron and steel as well as that of plastic. Decline in NZ export to India was caused by decrease in our purchase of coal.

       Major items of imports from India are pharmaceutical products, pearls, precious & semi-precious stones, vehicle and vehicle parts, textiles, apparel articles, machinery items and plastic and plastic items etc.  Main items of exports to India are wood, wood charcoal, wool, animal hair, edible fruits & nuts, raw hides and skins, etc. 

Free Trade Agreement: New Zealand and India agreed to undertake a joint study into the implications of a free trade agreement (FTA) in 2007. That study was completed in February 2009 and has since been accepted and approved by the New Zealand and Indian governments.  The negotiations for a Free Trade Agreement (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 sidelines of the RCEP negotiations held on Auckland in June, 2016.

Economic Dialogue between India & New Zealand:  The annual dialogue between the Ministry of Finance and the New Zealand Treasury commenced in 2009. The inaugural talks took place in New Delhi in June 2009.The second round was held in Wellington in September 2010 and the third round was held in New Delhi in November 2011. The fourth annual dialogue was held in Wellington on 15-16 April 2013. The 5th Annual dialogue was held in New Delhi on 13th June 2014 and 6th round of dialogue will be held in New Zealand. 

ONGC Videsh Limited: On 09 December 2014 ONGC Videsh Limited was awarded oil and gas exploration permits by the New Zealand Government. ONGC was one of the 15 successful bidders who were awarded oil and gas exploration permits. Under the permit, ONGC will have ownership rights for 12 years for undertaking offshore hydrocarbon exploration along the Taranaki coast in New Zealand’s North Island region. The block comprises a total area of 2,121 sq. kms.

Cooperation in the Education Sector: As part of the Prime Ministers’ Education Initiative, announced during PMJK’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. The number of Indian students has significantly increased over the last few years and according to a recent survey, India is currently the second largest source of international students for NZ. As per latest available information, there are about 23,000 Indian students in NZ, up from 4600 in 2008. Next meeting of the India-New Zealand Education Council will be held in India. NZ has recently announced NZ Excellence Awards, of 35 scholarship of NZ$5000 across all eight major NZ universities for India students.

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.  The first meeting of the Joint Science & Technology Committee, was 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 09th 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. 

Cooperation in the Cultural Field: 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. The Auckland Diwali Festival in 2015 was inaugurated by PM John Key.  The New Zealand Parliament also held a function on November 12, 2015 for celebrating Diwali, which was attended by Prime Minister John Key. 

Ambedkar Jayanti: A special function was held in the New Zealand Parliament on 10th 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 second International Day of Yoga in Wellington and other important cities in New Zealand on 19 June. There was an enthusiastic response at these events.

Gandhi Jayanti: The unveiling of a life size statute 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. City Council of Wellington in cooperation with local Indian organization 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 175,000 strong Indian Diaspora about 140,000 persons are estimated to be of Indian origin, while 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.

Useful Resources :
Mission’s website : www.hicomind.org.nz
Mission’s Facebook page : https://www.facebook.com/HighCommissionofIndiaNewZealand
Mission’s Twitter Account : @IndiainNZ

(December 2016)