With a view to bolster manufacturing sector in India, President Pranab Mukherjee has asked entrepreneurs in New Zealand to participate in the “Make in India” initiative. Mr Mukherjee, who is in the final leg of his two-nation visit to Papua New Guinea and New Zealand, made a strong pitch for investments in the flagship programmes of the government. This was the first ever presidential visit from India to New Zealand.
“New Zealand has made tremendous progress in dairy development, food processing, communications and information technology, clean energy and water, disaster management, biotechnology, healthcare and services, to mention a few,” Mr. Mukherjee said in his speech. He was addressing a gathering at the banquet hosted in his honour by New Zealand Governor General Jerry Mateparae after his arrival from Papua New Guinea on April 30.
“We would very much like to enhance our bilateral co-operation in these areas, learn from the successful experience and practices of New Zealand and collaborate with you in creating new and innovative products and technology,” Mr Mukherjee said. Speaking about the new partnerships with New Zealand in areas of common interest, he said: “We invite investors and entrepreneurs from New Zealand to join Indian counterparts in the ‘Make in India’ initiative of my government.”
Stressing on the bilateral relations between India and New Zealand, Mr Mukherjee said that it gained a new momentum since the visit of New Zealand Prime Minister John Key to India in June 2011. The bilateral trade crossed $1 billion in 2013. “However, given the relative size of our economies and the wide convergence of interests in many areas, we both agree that the present level of trade and investment needs to be vigorously advanced in order to realise its substantial potential,” he said.
Emphasising on the need for UN Security Council reforms, Mr Mukherjee sought cooperation from New Zealand and said that India was ready to take on greater responsibilities globally. “In the United Nations Security Council, New Zealand has addressed issues of global security and highlighted the challenges faced by smaller states,” he said. New Zealand has expressed support for India’s aspirations for permanent membership of the UN Security Council.
Appreciating the contributions of the Indian diaspora, Mr. Mukherjee said that New Zealand was home to more than 170,000 people of Indian origin. “Our people to people contacts are growing. Indian students are increasingly opting for higher studies in New Zealand and we are seeing enhanced tourist flows in both directions,” he said.
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