14 June | Auckland

Building relationships and leveraging the opportunities that India and Indians present was the main talking point at the second talk in the series titled “Reimagining India New Zealand Relationship”. The event titled “Developing Economic and Foreign Relations”, held on 14 June,2018, by New Zealand India Trade Alliance. The event held in partnership with PwC and supported by New Zealand Trade and Enterprise (NZTE) saw businesspeople, economic advisors and the corporate workforce gather in full strength.

The Keynote speaker of the evening was Deputy Leader of the NZ First Party and Parliamentary Under-Secretary to the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Parliamentary Under-Secretary to the Minister for Regional Economic Development, Fletcher Tabuteau. He spoke about the contrast and power of the New Zealand-India Relationship. Tabuteau stressed on how the meeting between Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and PM Narendra Modi on the sidelines of the East Asia Summit last year, further enhanced the already existing warm relations between the two countries. He also stressed on how similar histories of both countries will help make sure this relationship grows even stronger. While stating some facts and figures in his address, the most interesting fact that stood out was that the relationship between New Zealand and India is the most developed in the whole of South Asia. In the course of his address another noteworthy fact that stood out was the India is New Zealand’s sixth largest services market. Fletcher Tabuteau ended his address by stating and acknowledging that the potential to develop and even stronger trade relation between the two countries is huge, and the need of the hour is to leverage every opportunity that is present and the role NZITA plays in such opportunities.

The businesses were also addressed by Kerry Stewart, Head of Asia Pacific, Valocity who spoke about the new automated software system that has been set up by them in India, which simplifies mortgage lending and property valuation process. Talking on why the company chose India, Kerry said, “the big move by the current government to regulate the environment around real estate has made India an ideal market”. The housing for all by 2020 goal of the government was also a key factor behind them setting up a practice in India. Addressing the various challenges that companies face while setting up in India, Stewart made it a point to recognize the continued efforts towards “ease of doing business” by the Modi government, which is gradually but positively effecting the market environment in India. On being questioned about “demonetization” that took place in India, Kerry Stewart remarked that this move has curbed the Black Money Market in India and has made dealing across the country very transparent.

Both speakers stressed on the need to build relationships and embrace, learn and share knowledge and expertise across both ways.