AIR spotlight summary on “India-New Zealand Bilateral Relations”.
John Key, Prime Minister of New Zealand, undertook a state visit to India. The visit was important because several issues were agreed between both countries.
- Food safety cooperation arrangement to encourage greater coordination between New Zealand and Indian food safety authorities
- The signing of an amendment to the existing sports cooperation arrangement to facilitate greater bilateral youth exchanges.
- Announced amendments to the bilateral double taxation agreement to bring its tax cooperation provisions into line with international best-practice
- Hold annual Foreign Ministry consultations at the senior official’s level.
- Promote cooperation and dialogue between the two countries on cyber issues
- Undertake defence education exchanges, by placing Indian and New Zealand defence personnel on each other’s defence courses and staff colleges.
- The Prime Ministers acknowledged the strong and growing education and migration links between New Zealand and India, noting the opportunities in New Zealand for Indian students seeking high value, high quality education programmes which can provide them genuine pathways to fill skill demands in New Zealand.
India-New Zealand Relations
- India and New Zealand have strong cultural relations, sports contact, both are members of commonwealth and democratic traditions have been common.
- When India wanted a dialogue partnership with Pacific Island Forum, New Zealand supported India’s membership.
- There are many Indian origin people in New Zealand; Auckland has Hindi as the third largest spoken language. 4% of New Zealand population are from Indian origin. 3 members of parliament are of Indian origin and the New Zealand cricket team has two members of Indian origin. That shows the people to people relations are continued to thrive. New Zealand has taken the pride of the people to people relations.
- 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). New Zealand said it would give careful, positive consideration to India’s candidature as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council for the term 2021-22.
- The two Prime Ministers agreed that the commercial and trading relationship between India and New Zealand was strong, noting that two-way trade was now worth 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.
New Zealand support on NSG membership
- New Zealand acknowledged the importance to India of it joining the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG). Getting into NSG is important for getting confirmation of India’s position as a unique nuclear power which has developed its nuclear technology and energy resources entirely on its own and has never been involved in any kind of proliferation.
Trade and Energy Relations
- New Zealand is in third or fourth position 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 RECEP New Zealand is the strong partner with India. The bilateral double taxation agreement would be helpful in promoting trade relations.
- Basically 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. New Zealand should be lenient in transferring farming and dairy technology so that the Indian farmers and the rural people will benefit and this will establish very good people to people relations.
- 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.
Issue on Terrorism
- Both countries called for eliminating terrorist safe havens and infrastructure, disrupting terrorist networks and their financing, and stopping cross-border terrorism. Both sides called for the early adoption of the Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism that would contribute to the further strengthening of the international counter-terrorism legal framework.
- The two Prime Ministers agreed to enhance cooperation, bilaterally as well as in the framework of UN and especially in 1267 Committee, to combat the full spectrum of terrorist threats in all their forms and manifestations.
- Countries have moved to a stage where terrorism needs to be defined according to UN formula and eliminate it totally. The agreement which both countries have signed would be helpful in moving the consensus of the world opinion towards accepting that terrorism should not be tolerated.