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02/05/24 | 11:36 pm

India and New Zealand hold 11th Joint Trade Committee meeting to strengthen trade relations

India and New Zealand concluded the 11th Joint Trade Committee (JTC) meeting in New Zealand on Thursday.

Led by Commerce Secretary Sunil Barthwal, the Indian delegation engaged in fruitful discussions with key stakeholders, including New Zealand’s minister for Trade, Todd McClay, and Acting Chief Executive Brook Barrington.

The meeting highlighted the immense potential for collaboration between the two nations, particularly in sectors like pharmaceuticals, agriculture, and food processing. Both sides acknowledged the existing trade complementarities and expressed a commitment to enhancing bilateral trade and people-to-people contacts.

One of the focal points of the discussions was the establishment of robust bilateral economic dialogue architecture, including the formation of working groups in areas such as agriculture, food processing, storage & transportation, forestry, and pharmaceuticals.
These groups aim to facilitate ongoing collaboration and address key trade and economic issues.

The discussions on cooperation in the horticulture sector, particularly concerning kiwi fruit and dairy, were of paramount importance. They revolved around strategies to boost productivity and elevate the quality standards within these sectors. The planned establishment of working groups underscores a firm dedication to regularly assess progress and monitor advancements.

Market access issues, non-tariff barriers, and sanitary and phytosanitary measures were also addressed, reflecting both parties’ commitment to resolving trade challenges through constructive dialogue and cooperation.

Moreover, the discussions emphasized the importance of the services sector in bilateral trade, with a focus on enhancing business-to-business and people-to-people contacts. Areas such as hospitality, tourism, nursing, and tele-medicine were identified as potential avenues for collaboration.

The pharmaceutical and medical devices sector emerged as a key area of discussion, with a focus on streamlining regulatory processes and enhancing quality assessment. Both parties explored opportunities for greater sourcing of medicines from India and cooperation in the medical device sector.

Beyond traditional sectors, opportunities for collaboration in digital trade, cross-border payment systems, and meeting Nationally Determined Contributions were briefly explored, indicating a willingness to adapt to evolving economic landscapes.

The meetings also reaffirmed a commitment to the principles of the World Trade Organization (WTO) and highlighted the importance of cooperative engagement within platforms such as G20 and the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework for Prosperity (IPEF).

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