The relationship between India-New Zealand has experienced ups and downs, but there is a sense of stability. The emergence of globalization and growing interdependence have fueled this. Read here to more about bilateral relations.
India and New Zealand have cordial and friendly relations rooted in the linkages of the Commonwealth, parliamentary democracy, and the English language.
The two countries have been fellow travelers in their commitment to disarmament, global peace, North-South Dialogue, human rights, ecological preservation, and combating international terrorism.
People-to-people contacts have been in focus since migration from India to this country began at the turn of the last century, and a sizeable population of Indian origin (estimated at 175,000) has made New Zealand a permanent home.
Tourism and sporting links, particularly in cricket, hockey, and mountaineering, have significantly fostered goodwill between the two countries.
History of India-New Zealand relations
Bilateral relations were established between India and New Zealand in 1952. India-New Zealand relations were cordial but not extensive after Indian independence.
Due to differences over agricultural subsidies, the countries’ discussions on a free trade deal, whether bilateral or through the East Asian Summit, have not succeeded since they established a Joint Trade Committee in 1983.
New Zealand has identified India as a priority country in its “Opening Doors to India” policy notified in 2011 which was reiterated in 2015.
Pranab Mukherjee became the first Indian President to visit New Zealand in August 2016.
- The two sides signed agreements on food safety and cooperation in the field of youth affairs and sports.
- They also finalized an amendment to the Treaty on Avoidance of Double Taxation.
- In addition, it was decided to establish a ministerial dialogue, annual Foreign Ministry consultations, and dialogue on the cyber crisis.
On 27 November 2017, the first India-New Zealand Cyber Dialogue was held in New Delhi.
India-New Zealand in Global forums
Both countries have an interest in the prosperity and stability of the Indo-Pacific region and actively participate in the East Asia Summit and the ASEAN Regional Forum.
India is a Post Forum Dialogue partner in the Pacific Islands Forum.
India-New Zeland also connects as members of several international organizations including the United Nations, the World Trade Organization, and the Commonwealth.
India-New Zealand trade relations
India is NZ’s 11th largest two-way trading partner with a total of two-way trade. Education and tourism are NZ’s growth sectors with India.
Top imports from New Zealand: wood, coal, wool, aluminum, and fruit
Top exports from India: pharmaceuticals, precious metals, jewelry, machinery, textiles, and apparel.
A free-trade agreement has been established between the two countries.
India NZ Business Council (INZBC) and India NZ Trade Alliance (INZTA) are prominent organizations working to promote India-NZ trade and investment relations.
‘India-New Zealand 2025: Investing in the Relationship’ sets out a framework for New Zealand Government agencies and partners to grow the relationship with India over the next five years.
New Zealand has committed to working closely with Māori, Indian communities, businesses, academics, and research institutions to help achieve the strategy’s goals.
New Zealand does not support India’s membership in the Nuclear Supplier Group (NSG). It is yet to change its position of admitting only signatories of Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) countries in NSG, a group of 48 countries that works by consensus.
- New Zealand is part of a group called the New Agenda for Coalition which promotes the NPT and pushes for nuclear disarmament worldwide.
- New Zealand was also among the countries led by China that have demanded to set criteria for non-signatories of the NPT for joining NSG.
The New Zealand India Research Institute is a consortium of scholars actively engaged in research on India in New Zealand universities.
Students from India can apply for Commonwealth Scholarships for postgraduate study in New Zealand.
In June 2011, the two countries set up an India-New Zealand Education Council.
Cooperation on the Covid-19 pandemic
Both countries cooperated extensively both bilaterally and as part of a group of like-minded countries in fighting against the pandemic by ensuring the continuity of supply chains of essential commodities, medicines, and vaccines.
India-New Zealand ties in news
- The external minister of India was on a visit to New Zealand and Australia.
- The visit covered a range of geopolitical topics, including how the combined contributions of India and New Zealand will influence the greater Indo-Pacific region.
- They also talked about the Indo-current Pacific’s security situation as well as the fallout from the conflict in Ukraine.
While New Zealand cannot ignore India’s sizable market and its services industry, neither can India ignore New Zealand’s crucial role in the Asia-Pacific region or its growing influence in numerous international and regional fora.
Although there has been increasing convergence, there is still a need for mutual understanding, which can be fostered by increasing investments, commerce, and interpersonal interactions.
Although both nations participated in the East Asia Summit and addressed non-traditional security concerns, there is a need to address the divergent policy perceptions and cooperate to advance peace and increase trade on a regional level.
-Article written by Swathi Satish