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India, New Zealand Pledge to Deepen Bilateral Relations Through Constructive Meetings

New Delhi: A high-level delegation led by Commerce Secretary Sunil Barthwal concluded a series of productive meetings in New Zealand from April 26th to 27th, aimed at strengthening bilateral relations between the two countries. The delegation engaged in discussions with key stakeholders including Hon. Todd McClay, Minister for Trade of New Zealand, Brook Barrington, Acting Chief Executive and Secretary of Foreign Affairs and Trade of New Zealand, the India-New Zealand Business Council (INZBC), and the 11th India – New Zealand Joint Trade Committee (JTC) Meeting.

Both sides expressed their commitment to deepening bilateral ties, recognizing the immense potential in both economies and the mutual complementarities in trade. The meetings focused on enhancing trade relations and fostering collaboration across various sectors, marking a significant milestone in the bilateral partnership between India and New Zealand.

Discussions revolved around key areas such as market access issues, economic cooperation projects, and opportunities for new initiatives. The establishment of robust bilateral economic dialogue architecture and the creation of working groups on sectors like Agriculture, Food Processing, Storage & Transportation, Forestry, and Pharmaceuticals were deliberated upon to facilitate ongoing collaboration on trade and economic matters.

Notably, cooperation in the horticulture sector, including the kiwi fruit sector and the dairy sector, was emphasized during the meetings. Both parties agreed to establish working groups to review progress and make recommendations at regular intervals.

Market access, non-tariff barriers, and sanitary and phytosanitary measures on products such as grapes, okra, and mangoes were among the bilateral trade matters discussed. Commitment to resolve these issues through constructive dialogue and cooperation under the existing mechanism of JTC was reaffirmed by both parties.

Special attention was given to enhancing bilateral trade in the services sector, with a focus on areas such as hospitality, nursing, tele-medicine, education, and air connectivity. Collaboration in the pharmaceuticals and medical devices sector, including fast-tracking regulatory processes and quality assessment, was also extensively discussed.

Opportunities for collaboration in digital trade, cross-border payment systems, and cooperative engagement within platforms such as G20 and Indo-Pacific Economic Framework for Prosperity (IPEF) were explored during the meetings. Both sides reiterated their commitment to the principles of the World Trade Organization (WTO) to uphold a rules-based international trading system.

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