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Harnessing ties for greater benefit

I wish to congratulate the management and staff of Indian Newslink on achieving this significant milestone, with commitment, energy and honest reporting.

The Media has a powerful influence as an opinion maker and this Newspaper has been a catalyst for the changes that have occurred in the past few years.

I am happy that Indian Newslink has not only kept pace with the evolving needs of its growing readership but also carved for itself a niche in the market.

It has successfully met the challenges of being relevant and useful in a competitive market, dealing with economic, social and community issues, becoming in the process, a complete and wholesome Newspaper.

There is however scope for improved coverage of the developments occurring in India for the benefit of New Zealand businesses and the Indian Diaspora.

As an Indian New Zealander, I am keen to witness bilateral relations between the two countries grow from strength to strength.

The ongoing negotiations for a Free Trade Agreement will undoubtedly see long-term benefits for businesses in either country.

I am also keen on people-to-people relationship and better interaction between businesses in New Zealand and India. The burgeoning private sector in India offers immense potential for New Zealand enterprises to engage constructively for mutual benefit and growth. There are opportunists for manufacturers, wholesalers, retailers, traders and exporters in the ever-expanding Indian market.

Business Awards

On this score, the establishment of the Indian Newslink Indian Business Awards (IBA) in 2008 was a step in the right direction. As the Chief Executive of the Waitakere City Council, along with Waitakere Enterprise (its economic arm), I was happy to help sponsor the Indian Newslink Indian Business Awards during its inaugural year 2008 and again in 2009.

The Awards were timely, as businesses in New Zealand were considering ways and means of fostering strategic engagement with their Indian counterparts.

As we had envisioned, IBA has grown to be a major event in New Zealand’s business calendar.

These Awards are about celebrating excellence, innovation and teamwork. They build and enhance positive organisational dynamics.

I was also on the judging panel of the Business Awards during the first two years and sensed the enthusiasm with which businesses filed their entries in various categories.

I believe that the Awards Scheme bolstered public confidence and encouraged investors to trust award-winning businesses.

It will also strengthen ties with India.

Business awards are about celebrating excellence, innovation and teamwork.

Awards build pride and enhance positive organisational dynamics.

However, it is one thing to think local, but another to act global.

Acting globally is critical to the survival of local business.

Whether accessing larger foreign markets, internationalising elements of production or partnering for strategic acquisitions, opportunities and technology, New Zealand is increasingly reliant on the international environment.

We must recognise this growing reliance and adopt a strategic and proactive approach towards our international relations, one that would harness our international city linkages for the benefit of our business community.

In line with New Zealand’s FTA ambitions, businesses should plan and pursue a strategic civic relationship with India.

This would conform to our economic development objectives, both in terms of having a presence in a country of significant future importance to New Zealand, as well as in terms of relevance to sectors and industries of strategic value to all of us.

We must be well positioned to benefit from India’s growth and civic linkages and play an important supporting role in this regard.

I take pride in being an Indian-Kiwi, in India’s rich heritage, culture and values, and in New Zealand’s exemplary work ethics and integrity.

I look forward to the achievement of our aims and objectives that would guarantee the wellbeing of our two nations.

I also believe that Indian Newslink has to play a larger role in harnessing public opinion and projecting them to the right people at the right time, thereby adding value to relationship with the two countries and the two peoples.

As I look forward to be its longstanding reader, I wish Indian Newslink continued success as the Voice of the Community.

Vijaya Vaidyanath was Chief Executive of Waitakere City Council until it merged with Auckland Council on November 1, 2010. She is an expert in Governance, Corporate Finance and International Affairs. She is seen here presenting the Best Large Business of the Year Award to Vinod Kumar of Magsons Hardware Limited at the Indian Newslink Indian Business Awards Presentation Night at Stamford Plaza on November 19, 2008.

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