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First Round Table Joint meeting between India, New Zealand held in Delhi

New Delhi: India and New Zealand had their first Round Table Joint Meeting with industry organisations from both nations on Thursday in New Delhi.
The meeting was co-chaired by the additional secretary, Department of Commerce, Government of India, Rajesh Agarwal and the High Commissioner of New Zealand in India, David Pine, the official release of the Ministry of Commerce and Industry said. Looking at the current level of bilateral commerce between the two nations, both sides recognised the enormous potential in the India-New Zealand alliance and the need for further economic cooperation in areas of mutual interest.
It was a common understanding that there is a need to work beyond any free trade agreement and explore other areas where both can complement each other. The discussions also focused on taking forward the objectives of the Joint Trade Committee (JTC), formed under the Bilateral Trade Agreement of 1986, the official statement said.
In a brief statement, the New Zealand High Commissioner emphasized the importance of joint efforts while keeping in mind the principles of mutual benefit, proportionality, enabling trade, and collaboration with private sectors.
Some of the areas explored by him included the promotion of a Unified Payment Interface (UPI) system, carbon credit cooperation, economic cooperation through sectoral arrangements and working together on specific issues like the comprehensive proposal made by Zespri and prioritization of requests on non-tariff measures for bilateral gains to the businesses of both the sides.
The High Commissioner also informed that India New Zealand Business Council has brought out a report in April 2023 on "India New Zealand -Relationship ready for next phase", reflecting feasible areas of cooperative activities for economic prosperity. He also emphasized increasing the air connectivity links between the two countries.
According to the official statement, Rajesh Agarwal mentioned strengthening the existing institutional mechanism for improving bilateral trade and emphasized on creation of a structure for working on cooperation and collaboration issues. This could include establishing a working group at the Joint Secretary level to work on specific identified issues and once the ideas and the corresponding co-operative activities are concretized, the same can be scaled up and finalized during the Joint Trade Committee meeting.
He stated that it would require a concerted effort from both sides and should take into account deliberations at G2G, B2B and G2B interactions.
Rajesh Agarwal emphasized the need for a proactive operational framework for mutual benefit by creating working groups which would feed to the Joint Trade Committee with concrete ideas and the solution thereof.
The Indian industry representative from services sectors like IT and ITeS, logistics and banking sector as well as manufacturing sectors namely food processing, pharmaceuticals, automobile, construction and power made useful interventions on the bilateral issues and the huge potential and ample opportunities available between both the economies which need to be nurtured through such interactions and actions thereof, the official press release stated.
The industry and industry associations from the New Zealand side, while calling it a significant moment in the economic relationship between the two countries, emphasized the need to speed up the activities and continue the dialogue in a more structured way like the present one.
Both sides were unanimous on the need for having more government-to-industry dialogues for concrete mutual benefits. (ANI)

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