The Auckland based New Zealand Indian Trade Alliance (NZITA) has announced the appointment of veteran banker Surinder Ogra to the post of General Secretary.

The appointment takes immediate effect.

NZITA Chairman Giri Gupta said that Mr Ogra will lead the trade organisation into “an exciting period of growth and opportunity to expand trade between New Zealand and India.”

International Trade Specialist 

An MBA from India, Mr Ogra has decades of experience in banking with specialisation in international trade, which accrues a unique advantage to the Organisation at a time when business prospects in India are showing signs of increased engagement.

He said that NZITA helps open doors into the Indian marketplace for Kiwi businesses.   

“India is a growing market of 1.3 billion people, with an expanding middle class and soaring demand for quality goods and services. NZITA works with a strong network of Indian trade organisations to establish, build and promote trade, investment, sporting and cultural links between New Zealand and India. We have key industry and Government connections, plus chapters in India,”

“India is on the rise and our historic links, Cricket and a strong Kiwi-Indian business community gives New Zealand definite advantages, combined with the right guidance. We are confident of improved performance,” Mr Ogra said.

Significant role

Organisations such as NZITA have a significant role to play in connecting people and promoting business-to-business relations in India, especially since trade talks between government-to-government have not progressed as expected and a Free Trade Agreement remining remote.

The Indian government recently pulled out of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) Agreement between the members of the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) and Dialogue Partners including New Zealand at the East Summit held in Bangkok earlier this month.

Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal said that “every interest of the domestic industry and people of India has to be protected.”

Pact without India

An RCEP without India would probably make South-East Asian countries an even more attractive destination for companies seeking to relocate some production out of China. Vietnam, which is also a member of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), a trade agreement with Canada, Mexico, and Chile, would be particularly well-placed.

Regional pacts have had their use in Europe, Arab Gulf and Africa.

But a cross-border Treaty involving India has been challenge for this RCEP, since 2012 and despite 27 rounds of negotiations, there is no deal in sight.

Optimism overstated

New Zealand has a major stake in the process since its dairy products can find an entry into the world’s second largest consumer market (after China) through the ASEAN corridor since a direct Free Trade Agreement has thus far eluded progress.

But Associate Trade & Export Growth Minister Damien O’Connor was overly optimistic when he said that the Partnership Agreement will be signed by the end of this year.

New Zealand sees this RCEP as harmonisation of existing agreements between ASEAN, India, China, Japan, South Korea and Australia.

About NZITA:

The New Zealand India Trade Alliance is a not-for-profit organisation created to actively promote a closer economic relationship in goods and services between New Zealand and India with mutual advantages for both countries and members of NZITA.

Wherever possible, NZITA aims to provide the necessary linkages and connections to its members so that they are able to grow their businesses locally and internationally.

The Organised facilitates a range of support services for members seeking to enter the Indian markets, including access for business at the highest level to local and state government entities in both countries.

NZITA has a strong leadership team, alongside a highly capable executive council which includes the following:

Giri Gupta, Chairman: A trained Engineer from Birla Institute of Technology & Science, Pilani, India, Giri Gupta is a successful businessman across various sectors and continents. He is well regarded in Indian Community. 

Dr Richard Worth, Deputy Chairman: Richard Worth is an eminent Lawyer and Director. He has served as a Minister under the New Zealand government in the past. He currently serves as the Hon Consul for Monaco based in Auckland.

Dr Don Brash, Deputy Chairman: Don Brash is a Former Governor, Reserve Bank of New Zealand and Former Leader, National Party. He is an eminent economist and has been the Chief Executive of many entities besides being the Chairman of ICBC.

Among the other members of our Executive Committee are Satinder Singh: Chief Executive, Aubade Global Resources Group, Rrahul Dosshi, Chief Executive, the Rainbow Corner Group of Companies, Richard White, Former Trade Commissioner, Stephen Brown, Former Cricketer and Event Management Expert, Michael Henstock, Government Relations Expert and Aldrin Thayalakal, Treasurer and Investment Banker.