India, NZ have shared stakes in Asia-Pacific region: Mukherjee
Auckland : India sees huge potential in expanding ties with New Zealand, President Pranab Mukherjee said today as he underlined that the two nations have “shared stakes” in a peaceful Asia-Pacific region and can successfully work as partners in promoting security and stability there.
Mukherjee, while delivering a speech at a University here, said it was time for both the nations to enhance their ties, as India presents a “picture of optimism and economic success.”
“Ours is the fastest growing major economy in the world — with an estimated growth rate of 7.6 per cent in the year 2015-16. The World Bank estimates that this will accelerate to 7.8 per cent and 7.9 per cent in the next two years. There are great prospects for New Zealand’s participation in our growth,” he said.
“The flagship programmes like ‘Skill India’, ‘Make In India’ and ‘Digital India’ are but a few of the many sectors where India has liberalised the regulations to encourage investment inflows and where India welcomes the foreign participation,” Mukherjee said while addressing students and faculty at the Auckland College of Technology here.
Mukherjee stressed India and New Zealand have “shared stakes” in a peaceful, cooperative and prosperous Asia-Pacific region.
“We believe that this is a region of huge opportunity — where we can successfully work as partners in promoting security, stability and prosperity. India values her cooperation with New Zealand at the United Nations and other multilateral fora,” he said.
“We have a shared interest in keeping maritime lanes open in the South Pacific and Indian Ocean Region and convergence of foreign policy positions on various regional and global issues,” the President said.
Mukherjee also expressed appreciation for New Zealand’s support for India’s permanent membership in an expanded United Nations Security Council.
“At the present time, seven decades after the United Nations was created, we are both agreed on the urgent need for reform of its organs to make them relevant and effective in the significantly altered world of the 21st century,” the President said.
He said the powerful endorsement that New Zealand received in its election to the United Nations Security Council is testimony to the respect that it commands in the international arena.
“You are a strong voice on behalf of the Pacific Island countries, and you are playing an influential role in shaping the global dialogue on key global challenges,” Mukherjee said.
“India sees enormous potential in the expansion of our bilateral partnership. At a time when New Zealand, too, has decided that it must invest more time and energy into strengthening its ties with Asia, this is an opportune moment to intensify our engagement in all fields,” he said.