India-New Zealand: What is the relationship between India and New Zealand?

by kaarthik shankar
What is the relation between India and New Zealand?

India-New Zealand together can cooperate in the progress of a large region like the Indo-Pacific.

India-New Zealand Relations

Historical Relations

  •  India and New Zealand enjoy long-standing friendly relations. These ties date back to the 1800s when Indians settled in Christchurch in the 1850s. In the 1890s, large numbers of immigrants came to New Zealand from Punjab and Gujarat. Indian soldiers fought alongside the Anzacs at Gallipoli in the year 1915.

Political Relations

  • India and New Zealand enjoy a cordial and friendly relation rooted in the Commonwealth, parliamentary democracy and the English language.
  • Both countries became independent in the same year and India’s diplomatic representation was established in 1950 with the opening of a Trade Commission, which was later updated as a High Commission.
  • Both countries share their commitment to disarmament, global peace, North-South dialogue, human rights, ecological protection and combating international terrorism.
  • Cooperation on COVID-19 Pandemic: Both countries carried out extensive bilateral cooperation in the fight against the pandemic by ensuring the continuity of the supply chain of essential commodities, medicines and vaccines. Both countries also helped in bringing back each other’s citizens stranded in the wake of COVID-19.

Trade relations

  •  11th largest two-way trading partner, with a total of two-way trade during the year 2020 at US$ 1.80 billion.
  • Education and tourism are growth areas of New Zealand along with India. Indian students, about 15,000 (before the pandemic), are New Zealand’s second-largest source of international students.
  • In the year 2018, the number of Indian tourists in New Zealand was 67,953, which was the 9th largest number in the world.
  • India mainly imports timber and forestry products, wood pulp, wool and food grains, fruits and nuts from New Zealand.
  • Indian exports to New Zealand are mostly comprised of pharmaceuticals/drugs, precious metals and gems, textiles and motor vehicles, and non-woven apparel and accessories.
  • India shares a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with New Zealand.

Business alliances

  • The India-New Zealand Business Council (INZBC) and the India-New Zealand Business Alliance (INZTA) are two major organizations working to promote India-New Zealand trade and investment ties.

Cultural connection

  • All Indian festivals include Diwali, Holi, Rakshabandhan, Baisakhi, Guruparv, Onam, Pongal etc. Are celebrated with great enthusiasm throughout New Zealand.
  • A set of four new stamps depicting the story of Diwali has been released by New Zealand Post in the year 2021. There are approximately 2,50,000 persons of Indian origin and NRIs in New Zealand, most of whom have made New Zealand their permanent home.

Various dimensions of the India-Australia relationship

  • Historical Relations: Australia and India first established diplomatic relations before independence, when the Consulate General of India was first opened as a trade office in Sydney in 1941.
  • The end of the Cold War as well as India’s decision to initiate major economic reforms in 1991 marked a positive step towards the development of closer ties between the two countries. With the passage of time, the strategic relationship got a fillip along with the existing economic ties.

India-Australia Strategic Relationship

  • With the changing global scenario, Australia views India as an important partner in promoting regional security and stability. This upgraded the bilateral relationship to a ‘strategic partnership’, including a joint declaration on security cooperation in 2009.
  • Bilateral mechanisms include high-level visits, annual meetings of Prime Ministers, Foreign Ministers’ Dialogue, and Joint Trade and Commerce Ministerial Commissions. India-Australia ‘2+2’ Foreign Secretary and Defense Secretary dialogue, Quad, Defense Policy Dialogue, Australia-India Education Council etc. Are some of the other dimensions.

Trade Relations

  • Growing India-Australia economic and commercial ties contribute to the stability and strength of the rapidly diversifying and deepening bilateral relationship between the two countries.
  • Australia is India’s 17th largest trading partner and India is Australia’s 9th largest trading partner.
  • India-Australia bilateral trade (both goods and services) to touch US$ 5 billion in 2021.
  • India’s merchandise exports to Australia are set to grow by 135% between 2019 and 2021. India’s exports mainly consist of finished products and were to be USD 6.9 billion in the year 2021.
  • India’s merchandise imports from Australia in 2021 were estimated at US$ 15.1 billion, largely comprising raw materials, minerals and intermediates.
  • India signed an India-Australia Economic Cooperation and Trade Agreement (IND- Aus ECTA) with Australia in the year 2022.
  • India, along with Australia and Japan, is involved in the trilateral ‘Supply Chain Resilience Initiative’ (SCRI) which seeks to enhance the resilience of supply chains in the Indo-Pacific region.

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