ITA Newsdesk: A high-level delegation of legislators from India’s most populous state, Uttar Pradesh, visited New Zealand last week as part of their visit to the Australasia region.

India-New Zealand trade and investment organisation India Trade Alliance (ITA) hosted the 20 plus strong delegation at a dinner at the Langham in Auckland.

Mohammed Azam Khan, the Parliamentary Affairs Minister of the Uttar Pradesh Assembly led the delegation, which included a number of senior ministers and legislators from major political parties of the state.

Nearly 100 guests attended the dinner. Recently appointed Indian High Commissioner to New Zealand HE Sanjiv Kohli addressed the gathering shortly after ITA Chairman Giri Gupta formally welcomed the guests.

Delegation leader Mr Khan addressed the audience in chaste Urdu, one of the languages spoken in Uttar Pradesh and other northern Indian states. He covered considerable ground in his speech touching upon politics, development, economics, progress his state has been making in the past three years and relations between India and New Zealand.

Fluent in his delivery, Mr Khan spoke eloquently, sometimes breaking into verse to illustrate a point. He invited New Zealand businesses to visit Uttar Pradesh not just to view the Taj Mahal, India’s most well-known icon.

He invited entrepreneurs to share know-how and reap the benefits of volumes offered by its considerable population. Covering a geographical space roughly as much as New Zealand, Uttar Pradesh has nearly 200 million people compared to just 4.5 million Kiwis.

ITA also presented its vision for the India Village, a multi-faceted platform and framework for increased people-to-people engagement between India and other nations, beginning with New Zealand. The idea is to supplement the efforts of governments to foster and strengthen ties by increased people-to-people involvement in activities such as business, trade, investment, sport, culture and other human endeavours.
Mr Gupta said that the delegation and its head, Mr Khan, were receptive to the idea and were keen to see it progress. ITA Co-Vice Chairman Dr Richard Worth rendered the vote of thanks.

Meanwhile, guests took the opportunity to mingle and hold discussions and network with members of the state government before and after the event.