President invites NZ investors to 'Make in India'
President Pranab Mukherjee during his 3-day visit to New Zealand, as a part of his 2 nation tour, has invited investors to participate in the 'Make in India' initiative. President Mukherjee commended New Zealand's "tremendous progress" in dairy development, food processing, communication and information technology, clean energy, biotechnology, etc. President Mukherjee is on a 6-day visit to Papua New Guinea and New Zealand.
The Pacific: Act east policy
Both Papua New Guinea and New Zealand, situated in the Pacific Ocean are an important part of India's Act East policy. The visit by Pranab Mukherjee is the first visit of an Indian President to the 2 nations.
Papua New Guinea: Country profile
Papua New Guinea(PNG) is the largest Pacific Island nation which occupies the Eastern part of the world's second largest island. The nation is one of the most linguistically diverse nation with over 700 native tongues. With a population of 7.2 million, it has an area of 462,840 sq km. The nation is rich in natural resources including oil, gas and other minerals.
India and PNG sign numerous agreements
India and Papua New Guinea signed numerous agreements in the field of health, information technology, economic cooperation, etc during President Mukherjee's visit. India had offered a $100 million line of credit to Papua New Guinea for infrastructure development. India would also provide anti-retroviral drugs and equipment to 20,000 HIV+ patients. PNG supports India's candidature for a permanent seat in the UN Security Council.
India-New Zealand relations
The relations between India and New Zealand, both once part of the British empire, are quite cordial. Though the trade in 2013 between the 2 nations stood at $1 billion, they have even larger trade potential due to the convergence of interest and the relative size of economies. Some 1,70,000 people of Indian origin live in the Pacific island nation of New Zealand.
The number of Indian students to New Zealand has grown dramatically during the last few years to 23,000. Moreover, about 43,000 Indian tourists visited NZ while 25,000 NZ tourists visited India in 2015.
Growing Indo-Kiwi ties
The relations between India and New Zealand have grown significantly after the visit of New Zealand's Prime Minister, John Key in 2011. New Zealand supports India's claim for permanent membership at the UN Security Council The nation is also one of the favourite destination of Indian film producers. The 3-day visit of President Mukherjee is the first high-level visit to NZ since 1986.
Air travel to get a boost
Both the nations signed a bilateral Air Service agreement to boost trade and tourism. The President also experienced a nose-rubbing ceremony as a symbol of traditional welcome with the Maori chief in Aukland.