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Business Council launches Wellington Chapter

Business Council launches Wellington Chapter.jpgNew Zealand businesses should explore the enormous potential that exists in India in every sector of the economy, Indian High Commissioner Retired Admiral Sureesh Mehta said.

“Manufacturing, industry, trade, education, health, tourism and investment are among the sectors that offer immense opportunities for entrepreneurs in this country. Large, medium and small businesses can benefit from the booming Indian economy,” he said, speaking at the launch of the Wellington Chapter of the India New Zealand Business Council on June 17.

The ongoing negotiations for a Free Trade Agreement will provide more opportunities for increased business relations between both the countries, he said.

“But now is the time for businesses from New Zealand to avail the opportunity being offered in India,” he said.

Wellington Mayor Kerry Prendergast, who hosted the launch ceremony at the Wellington City Council Chamber, said the India New Zealand Business Council was an effective catalyst for promoting two-way trade and business.

In an earlier speech, she had said that New Zealand as a country, Wellington as a City and business leaders as a community faced the challenge of harnessing India’s success as it reinvents itself as a 21st century economic superpower.

“The potential benefits to New Zealand of a Free Trade Agreement with the world’s second-most populous country are worth billions.

“New Zealand’s exports to India are set at about US$350 million a year; that does not include our cricketers. I am confident that whatever opportunities arise, Wellington’s business community will be ready to seize the moment.”

National Party MP John Hayes, who chairs the Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Select Committee of Parliament, said his Government was keen to expand the business relationship with India.

“Like most people in this country, I look forward to the successful signing of the Free Trade Agreement with India. But the efforts to promote commercial and industrial ties should continue as an ongoing exercise,” he said, inaugurating the Chapter.

Council Patron Sir Richard Hadlee, sharing stories from his days as a Cricketer, said India was a land of untapped and unlimited opportunities.

“The key is to find the right partner in your industry,” he said.

Chair Wenceslaus Anthony said the India New Zealand Business Council had plans to facilitate increased trade and business flow between the two countries.

“The friendly, hands-on approach and easy accessibility of the High Commissioners of New Zealand and India (based respectively in New Delhi and Wellington) are positive and useful factors in our efforts towards a closer engagement.

“The Council is keen to encourage New Zealand businesses to establish joint ventures in either country and take the relationship to a higher level,” he said.

Apart from Wellington, the Council has a chapter each in Auckland and Christchurch, making it the largest New Zealand based networking organisation dealing with India.

Photo: John Hayes, Sureesh Mehta and Wenceslaus Anthony at the launch

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