International Affairs



It gives me great pleasure to receive from Your Excellency, the Letter of Credence accrediting you as High Commissioner of New Zealand to the Republic of India. I would also like to extend a warm welcome to you and hope that your stay will be both enjoyable and productive.

India and New Zealand have enjoyed cordial and friendly relations. These are based on a number of complementarities built up over the years including Commonwealth, the Parliamentary system, the English language, even cricket and mountaineering. In the recent past, our relationship has been given a further boost through several high level visits. Last year visits of our Commerce Minister, Shri Murasoli Maran to New Zealand and of Mr. Jim Sutton, Minister for Trade Negotiations of New Zealand to India added depth to our relations.

This year your Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Mr. Phil Goff visited India in March and carried the relationship considerably forward. Our External Affairs Minister, Shri Jaswant Singh had the distinct pleasure of reciprocating the gesture recently by visiting New Zealand where he met not only Mr. Goff but also the Prime Minister, Her Excellency Mrs. Helen Clark and Mr. Mark Burton, the Minister of Defence when wide range of topics were discussed and clarified. We are keenly looking forward to the visit of your Prime Minister, Rt. Hon. Mrs. Helen Clark, to India to whom an invitation has been extended by our Prime Minister. As she is a keen mountaineer, I hope she finds time during her visit to enjoy our great Himalayan Ranges.

Our relationship has grown substantially in many areas despite the great geographical distance which separates us. Tourism has grown so has Education. New Zealand is rapidly becoming a much sought after destination for Indian students. In food processing, agriculture forestry, Information Technology and building technology, there exists a tremendous scope of enhancing co-operation between the two countries on the basis of reciprocity and mutual benefit.

In April 2001, Shri Pramod Mahajan, our Minister for Information Technology led a delegation comprising eminent persons from Information Technology Industry, which opened new vistas in this important field. He undertook another visit shortly thereafter as head of a delegation of Parliamentary Whips to New Zealand. I understand that our parliamentarians had good interaction with their counterparts. Such interaction further strengthens the bonds of democracy between us. We are looking forward to a visit of a Parliamentary Delegation from New Zealand.

As Members of the Commonwealth our delegations meet regularly under its aegis. We have shared common concerns which we have expressed to each other at these occasions, always with a sense of complete understanding. Our leaders would soon be meeting again in Brisbane in October this year. The special theme for CHOGM 2001, "Commonwealth in the 21st century: Continuity and Renewal" is a most appropriate one for us and I am sure both India and New Zealand would continue to work closely together for its realization.

Excellency, I am confident that during your tenure here, India and New Zealand will continue to work together to take our bilateral relations forward for mutual benefit. I take this opportunity to extend my Government’s full co-operation in your efforts for further strengthening our bilateral relations.

Thank you

Jai Hind