India Trade Alliance Executive today welcomed the announcement by the Foreign Minister Hon Murray McCully to appoint career diplomat Joanna Kempkers as the next New Zealand High Commissioner designate to India.
Welcoming the announcement, the Chairman for India Trade Alliance, Giri Gupta said, “India and New Zealand have moved closer than before – diplomatically, culturally and economically over the years. The recent visit by Prime Minister John Key to India and the visit of the first Indian President to New Zealand earlier in May this year, all are positive signs that the two countries are working to bridge the geographical and diplomatic divide.”
Ms Kempkers, who will replace Grahame Morton, has previously served as High Commissioner to Cook Islands and Deputy/Acting High Commissioner to Fiji. She is currently the Chief of Protocol at Protocol Division at Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
Acknowledging the work of the outgoing High Commissioner Grahame Morton, the Deputy Chairman Dr the Hon Richard Worth said, “New Zealand was fortunate to have Grahame Morton serving the interests of New Zealand government and businesses on the ground. Grahame has certainly lifted the NZ Inc brand with the Indian government and the results of high-level visits to NZ and India speak for themselves.”
While the world’s third largest economy is growing at a fast pace, the role that New Zealand businesses can play in its growth is enormous. Sectors like biotechnology, healthcare, tourism, and robotics are in great demand and New Zealand has skilled expertise in these.
Over the past five years, India has become a source of skilled migrants, students, and tourists, and trade had grown by 41 percent.
While the FTA talks have been progressing, a refreshing approach needs to be taken as NZ Inc redefines its ‘Opening Doors to India’ strategy which was launched five years ago after the first visit of Prime Minister John Key to India.