Business North July / August 2021

108 | India NZ Business Council BUSINESS Decade of the ‘new normal’ apt title Karen Phelps Indian High Commissioner Muktesh Pardeshi. C ovid-19 may have put a halt to the 2020 India New Zealand Business Council (IN - ZBC) summit, but this year, thanks to an online option, delegates attended the summit from both New Zealand and India. Decade of the New Normal was an apt title for the event, which has become the corner- stone of international business events in New Zealand. Held since 2014, the summit brings all the stakeholders in the India-New Zealand trade space under one roof. This year being both a physical and virtual event it signified one new way businesses are conducting themselves in the ‘new normal’, says INZBC chair Sameer Handa. This year the summit witnessed the pres- ence of policy makers, industry stalwarts, government representatives and corporate houses. The objective of the summit was to provide a forum to bring together policy and business leaders to explore collaboration in different areas and to showcase New Zealand technology and expertise. “It is an international platform to interact and network with senior officials, government and official delegations, meet with the top leaders of the industry and hear from them, on their perspectives,” explains Sameer. “It’s proven an excellent platform to forge part- nerships, build business opportunities and exchange technology. “Delegates have also found it an excellent platform to raise customer awareness, meet new and existing customers, branding and in- crease sales as well as a platform to introduce new products and technology. It gives people a deep insight into sectors from the India-New Zealand industry perspective.” INZBC head of strategic partnerships Sunil Kausha says that 2020 has undoubtedly changed the way the world does business and this has been signified by various policy changes recently by the government of India, which present some great opportunities for Kiwis. “For example direct investment by for- eign companies has now been made easier meaning educational institutes could poten- tially set up shop in India rather than relying on students coming to New Zealand. Supply chain challenges could also be solved by trade enterprise in the sectors of dairy, meat and even manufacturing setting up India bases to supply that market,” he says. The fact that India has signed up the Paris Agreement likewise presents some great opportunities for New Zealand innovators in that space to showcase their products and technology. INZBC secretary Garry Gupta says it is common knowledge that India is fast be - coming a global powerhouse with vast growth potential. He believes there is also opportunity for New Zealand to set up a free trade agreement with India and is keen to “put that conversa - tion back on the table” after previous talks between the two nations failed to materialise anything concrete. He hopes that the fact that INZBC chair Sameer Handa, who has been doing business with and in India for the past over two decades and has invaluable knowl- edge of both markets adding immense value to improving the India-New Zealand trade relations, was made a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit this year is a positive signal that the New Zealand Government is looking favourably on trade opportunities with India going forward. “It’s proven an excellent platform to forge partnerships, build business opportunities and exchange technology.”