INDIA, NEW ZEALAND TO FOSTER GREATER COOPERATION IN EDUCATION & FOOD PROCESSING SECTOR
AGREED MINUTES OF INDIA-NEW ZEALAND JTC SIGNED
Date : 15 Oct 2003
Location : New Delhi
India and New Zealand have agreed to foster greater cooperation in the education sector through an Educational Exchange Programme (EEP). Both countries have welcomed in-principle the concept of EEP and decided that discussions would be encouraged between counterpart agencies on this subject. In the food processing sector, India has stated that it would examine whether apple imports could be facilitated during off-season, especially in south Indian markets, in response to request from New Zealand side for the reduction in tariff on apples,. This is indicated in the Agreed Minutes of the 8th India-New Zealand Joint Trade Committee, which was signed here yesterday evening by Shri Vinay Bansal, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Commerce & Industry, who led the Indian delegation and Dr.Richard Grant, Deputy Secretary, Foreign Affairs & Trade, and leader of the New Zealand delegation.
Both sides noted that the present level of bilateral trade (US $ 144 million in 2002-03) does not reflect the true potential and agreed to make joint efforts to raise it to new levels. On the issue of market access, Indian side requested New Zealand for reduction in tariffs on textiles, clothing and footwear in which there had been negative growth in exports to New Zealand. The New Zealand side informed that its tariff policy review outcome would provide positive results for these items. The New Zealand side reiterated its request for reduction in tariff on apples, sawn timber, fibreboard, food processing equipment, dairy machinery and commercial refrigerators and freezers. The two sides agreed to give due consideration to each other’s requests on tariff.
The two sides exchanged views on regional trade and economic developments, including India’s growing economic engagement with ASEAN and New Zealand’s involvement in the AFTA/CER Closer Economic Partnership. Both sides also discussed WTO issues. Both sides noted that though progress had been made in bilateral trade, the present level still did not reflect the true trade potential between the two countries. Regarding supply of New Zealand food products to Indian market it was agreed that the representatives of New Zealand Safety Authority would meet their counterpart in the Ministry of Agriculture to clarify the certification procedures.
The two countries recognised the need of greater two-way investment flow since both the countries had an open and transparent foreign investment regime. The cumulative investment from New Zealand has reached US $ 99.9 million from 1991 till June 2003. The Indian side invited participation of New Zealand in the prestigious multi-product international trade fair scheduled at New Delhi in November 2003 as also in the INDIASOFT 2004 in February 2004. It was agreed that the next meeting of the JTC would be held in New Zealand on a mutually convenient date.
The principal products of Indian export include cotton yarn, fabrics, made-up etc., gems & jewellery, drugs, pharmaceuticals & fine chemicals, inorganic, organic and agro chemicals etc. The major products of Indian import include wool raw, coal, coke and birquities, raw rides and skins, leather, wood and wood products, newsprint etc.