India Trade Alliance, the newly formed body to promote trade and investment between New Zealand and India, hosted its first major event in Auckland this week, aimed at creating key Kiwi tech alliances.
Chairman Giriraj Gupta says the alliance has been formed with a view to actively pursue closer economic ties between the two nations.
“ITA is working with a cross section of stakeholder publics ranging from government ministries and policy makers to chambers of commerce and the private sector in both countries,” Gupta adds.
In its inaugural event, ITA hosted a high profile group of technology entrepreneurs from the southern Indian state of Kerala.
The group, which was on its third road show - this time across New Zealand, Australia and Singapore - comprised more than a dozen entrepreneurs and government officials.
Senior Kerala Government official P H Kurian, the state’s Principal Secretary for Industries and Information Technology, headed the delegation.
Drawing parallels between his state and New Zealand, Kurian believes there is “great potential” for the two to cooperate in the field of information and communication technologies and other service industries like education, culture and tourism.
Kerala, like New Zealand, had a vibrant small and medium enterprise (SME) sector, Kurian adds.
“I’m pleased to see New Zealand’s high profile involvement in the event, which had Members of Parliament Kanwaljit Singh Bakshi and Mahesh Bindra in attendance,” Kurian adds.
“That is besides chief executives and senior officials of several New Zealand organisations that are looking to establish or build their existing business relationships in India.”
ITA counts a number of high profile New Zealanders on its board including former Reserve Bank of New Zealand Governor Don Brash and former MP Dr Richard Worth.
Gupta says the alliance is in the process of forging relationships with business and industry stakeholders in New Zealand such as New Zealand Trade & Enterprise and the Auckland Council’s business development arm ATEED.
“ITA aims to provide the necessary linkages and connections to its members so that they are able to grow their businesses locally and internationally, beginning with building on our relationships in both New Zealand and India,” he adds.
ITA Deputy Chairman Richard Worth says that five years ago, the Indian community in Auckland “seemed incredibly inward looking.”
“It was a highly committed community, hardworking, law abiding, but inward looking,” he adds.
“Now, the Indian community in Auckland has just blossomed. I feel same thing is true about India as well.”