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May 2, 2024

India and New Zealand Strengthen Collaboration in Pharma and Digital Trade

India and New Zealand are poised to enhance collaboration in vital sectors such as pharmaceuticals, digital trade, and cross-border payment systems, aiming to bolster bilateral trade relations. The recent visit of Commerce Secretary Sunil Barthwal to New Zealand from April 26-27 provided a platform to discuss issues and opportunities for promoting trade between the two nations.

According to the commerce ministry, both countries recognize the significant potential to further boost bilateral trade. During the meetings, progress on market access issues, ongoing economic cooperation projects, and potential new initiatives were reviewed. Discussions also centered around establishing a robust bilateral economic dialogue architecture and forming working groups in sectors like Agriculture, Food Processing, Storage and Transportation, Forestry, and Pharmaceuticals to facilitate continuous collaboration on key trade and economic matters.

In addition to these sectors, there were talks on expanding cooperation in kiwi fruit production and the dairy sector. Bilateral trade matters of mutual interest, including market access, non-tariff barriers, and sanitary and phytosanitary measures on products like grapes, okra, and mangoes, were also addressed. The discussions touched upon the Mutual Recognition Arrangement (MRA) in organic products and simplified homologation, particularly through mutual recognition of comparable domestic standards for vehicles.

Both parties reaffirmed their commitment to resolving these issues through constructive dialogue and cooperation, as stated by the ministry. Furthermore, discussions on collaboration in the pharmaceutical and medical device sectors were extensive. This included considerations for fast-tracking regulatory processes and quality assessment of manufacturing facilities. There was also a focus on increasing the sourcing of medicines from India and fostering cooperation in the medical device sector.

Additionally, both India and New Zealand explored opportunities for collaboration in digital trade, meeting nationally determined contributions, and enhancing cross-border payment systems. The dialogue emphasized the importance of leveraging digital technologies to facilitate smoother trade transactions between the two countries.

Overall, the discussions during Commerce Secretary Sunil Barthwal’s visit underscored the commitment of India and New Zealand to deepen their economic ties and explore new avenues for collaboration. With a focus on key sectors like pharmaceuticals and digital trade, both nations are poised to benefit from enhanced cooperation, paving the way for increased bilateral trade and mutual prosperity.

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