Prime Minister Narendra Modi recently addressed the issues of trade, terrorism and investment during his joint statement with John Key, New Zealand’s Prime Minister, for the fourth One Day International in Ranchi. The topics became the main focus, after an obligatory mention of India and New Zealand cricket match, as they are factors which will impact both the nations. Prior to bringing up the issue of terrorism, the investment and trade ties between the two countries were discussed in detail.
The need for greater economic engagement in order to respond successfully to the growing uncertainties in global economy was particularly emphasised during the statement. Areas of food processing, dairy and agriculture were mentioned by Modi as areas with particular potential for bilateral cooperation. The leaders agreed to expand both business and commercial ties; “New Zealand’s strength and capacity in these sectors can combine with India’s vast technology needs to build partnerships that can benefit both our societies,” said Modi.
They also agreed to promote greater business connectivity through the movement of skilled professionals and signed the double taxation avoidance agreement, hence concluding that significant steps will be taken to boost services through this protocol without coming to a specific conclusion about the trade of goods. Though the need to enhance cooperation was recognised, no decision or agreement was signed. This could possibly be due to the fact that the uncompromisable high tariff by the on some agriculture products in the New Delhi market being uneconomic for outsiders. The talks over Free Trade Agreement are still progressing.
Modi then went on to thank Key for Wellington’s support to New Delhi joining a reformed UN Security Council as a permanent member as well as expressing his gratitude for considering India’s membership of the NSG (Nuclear Suppliers Group). An agreement to strengthen security and intelligence cooperation against terrorism and radicalisation, including in the domain of cyber security was also made by Key and Modi. The concerns for growing migration and education links between the two nations were also noted and discussed by the leaders. They concluded that making sure all students are provided with high-quality education experiences are crucial and highlighted the requirement for on-going coordination between agencies in both the nations.