The involvement of New Zealand businesses in the successful Indian Moon landing epitomises the trade and investment opportunities between the two countries.
Just as Rakon and RocketLab provided innovative elements to the landing, the largest New Zealand business mission ever to visit India has uncovered significant trade and investment opportunities across a host of sectors.
The mission, comprising the leaders and members of five New Zealand business organisations, arrived in Delhi late last week and undertook a programme of events and direct business engagement as the Indian economy continues to surge ahead.
Mission leader Michael Fox, Chair of the India NZ Business Council (INZBC), said he was very pleased with the focus that the visit has brought to the bilateral trade and investment relationship.
“The delegation has provided a massive injection of energy and momentum as we work to reframe the bilateral relationship, and identify new opportunities that are grounded in our mutual objective of building sustainable trade supported by innovation. It is clear that we have momentum across multiple sectors including agritech, food and beverage, advanced manufacturing, horticulture, bio-pharma, information technology, and nutriceuticals, Mr Fox said.
Auckland Business Chamber CEO Simon Bridges said that the size and multi-sector composition of the delegation had been noted by its Indian hosts as signifying New Zealand’s focus on further developing the relationship.
“The delegation has come together well, providing a strong, shared vision, to move the relationship forward. New Zealand is positioning itself as a partner with innovative solutions that meet Indian sectoral needs, ranging from agribusiness and aviation to education, food and beverage, tourism and technology, Mr Bridges added.
Michael Fox noted, “One of the pleasing things has been the strong support provided to the delegation by the New Zealand Government and its agencies in India. Having Minister of Trade and Economic Growth, Hon Damien O’Connor meet with India’s Minister of Commerce and Industry, Hon’ble CIM Shri Piyush Goyal and issue such a positive ministerial joint statement has been very helpful. I expect we will see further positive developments announced in the coming weeks”.
“We are building great partnerships with key Indian organisations, including the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI), Invest India and the India Oceania Business Association (IOBA). There has been strong engagement on issues of mutual interest with senior heads and members of those organisations”, Mr Fox said.
“This has been a wonderful time to be in India”, added Simon Bridges. “We are very proud that New Zealand companies have contributed to a world first with the Chandrayaan-3 landings on the moon’s South Pole. Rakon has worked closely with the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) for more than 15 years. It provided key instruments to support the location and timing of navigation systems on the lunar lander and lunar rover which were manufactured at its plant in Bengaluru. In addition, solar connectors built by RocketLab were installed on the lander”, Mr Bridges said.
“The successful engagement between delegation members and their Indian counterparts points to an exciting future for trade and investment between our two countries, even in the absence of an FTA. There are also opportunities for collaborative partnerships at State level, as shown by several meetings during the week.
“The work to expand the relationship has begun and we are already working on the next phase of growth. The statement issued by Ministers O’Connor and Goyal also stressed the desirability of air connectivity between India and New Zealand and we hope to see this route established as soon as possible to make it easier for people to travel and connections between the two countries,” Mr Fox concluded.
Note: The five business organisations leading the mission were: India NZ Business Council (INZBC), Auckland Business Chamber, EMA, Export NZ and the NZ International Business Forum. The Joint Ministerial Statement released by Ministers Goyal and O’Connor may be seen here: https://www.beehive.govt.nz/release/joint-statement-new-zealand-and-india-ministerial-talks-new-delhi