New Zealand Prime Minister Visit to India

Mr John Key, Prime Minister of New Zealand paid offical visit to India from 25-27 October 2016. He met Indian Prime Minister Modi during the visit.

The two Prime Ministers noted the strong diaspora connections between India and New Zealand, with Indians now making up around four percent of New Zealand’s population.

The two Prime Ministers underlined the fact that India and New Zealand are both maritime nations with a strong interest in the Asia-Pacific and Indo-Pacific regions being stable and prosperous, including by ensuring the safety and security of sea lanes and freedom of navigation.

Accordingly, the two Prime Ministers agreed to further strengthen the political, defence and security relationship enjoyed by India and New Zealand.

In order to drive this enhanced political-security relationship, the two Prime Ministers agreed that India and New Zealand would:

-Establish a Bilateral Ministerial Dialogue through annual meetings, either in India, New Zealand or on the margins of regional or global gatherings;
-Hold annual Foreign Ministry Consultations at the senior officials level;
-Promote cooperation and dialogue between the two countries on cyber issues;
-Explore prospects for information sharing in support of our mutual interests in maritime security;
-Continue negotiations for a Customs Cooperation Arrangement to facilitate information sharing and to provide a framework for the exchange of new customs procedures and techniques;
-Undertake defence education exchanges, by placing Indian and New Zealand defence personnel on each other’s defence courses and staff colleges; and
-Encourage naval ship visits to each other’s ports, with the next visit of an Indian vessel to coincide with the Royal New Zealand Navy’s 75th anniversary commemorations in November 2016.

Both sides called for the early adoption of the Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism that would contribute to the further strengthening of the international counter-terrorism legal framework.

New Zealand also said it would give careful, positive consideration to India’s candidature as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council for the term 2021-22.

New Zealand welcomed India’s entry into the Missile Technology Control Regime, which would strengthen global non-proliferation objectives.

The Prime Ministers underscored New Zealand and India’s cooperation in regional forums, including the East Asia Summit, the ASEAN Defence Ministers Meeting Plus and the ASEAN Regional Forum.

The two Prime Ministers agreed that the commercial and trading relationship between India and New Zealand was strong, noting that two-way trade was now worth US$1.8 billion in goods & services annually, an increase of 42 percent in the past five years.

However, the Prime Ministers noted that bilateral commercial relations could and should be even stronger. The Prime Ministers expressed their wish for greater bilateral trade and investment and:

-Committed to continue to work towards a high-quality, comprehensive and balanced bilateral Free Trade Agreement which would deliver meaningful commercial outcomes to both sides;
-Vowed to ensure that India and New Zealand contribute to a high-quality, comprehensive outcome to the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership negotiations, of which both countries are parties;
-Announced amendments to the bilateral Double Taxation Agreement to bring its tax cooperation provisions into line with international best-practice; and
-Announced the conclusion of a Food Safety Cooperation Arrangement to encourage greater coordination between New Zealand and Indian food safety authorities, and supporting more efficient trade in food products.

The two Prime Ministers agreed that New Zealand participation would include:

-The promotion of FDI in India in support of India’s Make in India campaign and development objectives; and
-Greater involvement by New Zealand scientific and commercial entities in Swachh Bharat, including the Clean Ganga initiative, which harnessed New Zealand’s expertise in the clean technology and renewable energy sectors.

Outcomes from the visit of John Key:

Arrangement between the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India and the Ministry for Primary Industries of New Zealand regarding Food Safety Cooperation.

MoU between the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports of the Government of the Republic of India and Sport New Zealand of the Government of New Zealand on Cooperation in the field of Youth Affairs and Sports.

Third Protocol to the Convention between the Government of Republic of India and the Government of New Zealand for the Avoidance of Double Taxation and the Prevention of Fiscal Evasion with respect to Taxes on Income.

Establishment of a Bilateral Ministerial Dialogue between two Foreign Ministries.

Establishment of Annual Foreign Ministry Consultations at Senior Officials Level.

Cooperation and Dialogue on Cyber Issues.