Winston Peters Targets Fast Growing Indian Market at Diwali Business Event
The New Zealand Indian Trade Alliance (NZITA) celebrated its annual Diwali dinner with the theme; 'victory of light over
darkness, brightening up India-New Zealand relations.'
Addressing an audience of NZ Exporters and Importers Deputy Prime Minister, Rt. Hon, Winston Peters, used the festival
of lights celebration to highlight the growing influence and market potential of India for New Zealand.
The event began with the lighting of the 'diya' (oil lamp) by Mr Peters, symbolising purity and goodness. NZITA
Chairman, Giri Gupta, shared the successes of NZITA in 2018 and shared the vision for 2019 that includes growth and
momentum for members.
Mr Peters highlighted India’s growing economic influence, and also commend India for its continuous improvement on the
Ease of Doing business list. He also mentioned the fruitful meeting between PM Narendra Modi and PM Jacinda Ardern at
the recent South East Asia Summit.
“India is the world’s largest democracy and New Zealand’s most developed relationship in South Asia. India’s economic
growth is strong and forecast to remain so, infrastructure is rapidly expanding, the ease of doing business is improving
and incomes are rising. It is forecast to be the world’s most populous country by 2025. That population will be young
and increasingly well-educated.
“Commercial success in India depends on being able to demonstrate how New Zealand can add value to India’s agenda to
transform the lives of its people - indeed this is one of the key criteria by which India will decide whom to engage
with,” he said.
Mr Peters said that a framework is needed to give businesses confidence to invest in India, whether that be a free trade
agreement or something else.
“A comprehensive economic partnership remains the focus of New Zealand’s trade relationship with India, which we are
pursuing through two pathways; a bilateral Free Trade Agreement, and the also through the pluri-lateral Regional
Comprehensive Economic Partnership, or RCEP negotiations.”
If RCEP is successfully concluded, it will provide a single set of rules, covering comprehensive high quality
commitments, including on market access, for almost half the world’s population. At present, the immediate prospect for
securing trade liberalisation into India is through the RCEP track.
Mr Peters concluded, “RCEP builds on New Zealand’s already strong relationships in Asia, and will, we hope, open up more
opportunities for New Zealand businesses in these fast growing economies. We have identified India as a key relationship
– and one in which we need to invest genuine time and effort. India MATTERS to New Zealand.”
The evening ended with a cultural dance by Simar and Sarnai, two students of Mt Roskill School, who enthralled the
audience with their performance.
About the NZITA
The NZITA is a not for profit organisation created to actively promote a closer economic relationship agreement in goods
and services between New Zealand and India with mutual advantages for both countries and members of NZITA.