Prime Minister of New Zealand, undertook a state visit to India. The visit was important as the issue of NSG membership of India was in sight and New Zealand had earlier opposed India’s bid to NSG. Also, there were other serious bilateral agreements that were signed during this visit.
India-New Zealand Relations
- The two Prime Ministers agreed that the commercial and trading relationship between India and New Zealand was strong at two-way trade running around US $1.8 billion in goods and services annually, an increase of 42 percent in the past five years. However, the Prime Ministers noted that bilateral commercial relations could and should be even stronger.
- India and New Zealand have strong cultural relations, sports contact, both are members of commonwealth and democratic traditions have been common.
- New Zealand had supported India’s bid to hold Pacific Island Forum.
- There are many Indian origin people in New Zealand.
- Prime Minister Key expressed New Zealand’s appreciation for India’s support for its campaign for a non-permanent seat on the United Nations Security Council (UNSC).
Agreements concluded during this visit
- Food safety cooperation arrangement
- Amendment to asports cooperation arrangement.
- Announced amendments to the bilateral double taxation
- Hold annual Foreign Ministry consultations at the senior official’s level.
- Cooperation on cyber issues.
- Undertaking of defence education exchanges.
- The Prime Ministers acknowledged the strong and growing education and migration links between New Zealand and India.
India’s NSG membership
- New Zealand acknowledged the importance to India of it joining the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG).
- New Zealand is one of the leaders in the world with highest percentage of renewable energy in areas of geo thermal, solar, wind etc where they can help India.
- They are very good in earth quake resistant building technologies and retrofitting the buildings with the earth quake resistant facilities.
- New Zealand is interested in promoting trade relations, in RCEP, New Zealand is a strong partner with India. The bilateral double taxation agreement would be helpful in promoting trade relations.
- New Zealand is a country of farmers and India also has a large number of farming community and so we cannot always have the patent protection. There is a need to transfer this technology on a very wide scale and then create long term relationship.
- Immediately after the 9/11 incident, Australia, New Zealand, United States Security Treaty (ANZUS treaty) was brought on the same basis of NATO and it was agreed that India would work very closely among all ANZUS and NATO members. Now that India is developing relations on cyber security with the members of NATO and ANZUS, it is important to have bilateral cooperation on cyber security with New Zealand.
- Indian Ocean is very important which is peaceful, there are issues going on about South China Sea, south pacific is another area which is of great interest. So exchanging naval and commercial ships with these countries will be very useful to India at a time when oceans have gained significance.
Cooperation on Terrorism
- Both countries called for eliminating terrorist safe havens and infrastructure and early adoption of the Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism.
- The two Prime Ministers agreed to enhance cooperation, bilaterally as well as in the framework of UN and especially in 1267 Committee, to the threats of terrorism.
- Countries have moved to a stage where terrorism needs to be defined according to UN formula and eliminate it totally.