FTA: New Zealand to offer greater market access to Indian professionals

PTI Wellington | Updated on May 10, 2011 Published on May 10, 2011

New Zealand will offer greater market access to Indian professionals in the proposed free trade pact the two countries are currently negotiating, the Trade Minister, Mr Tim Groser, said here today.

“Of course we will make offers to India in services (under the proposed FTA)),” Mr Groser told reporters.

He said Indian professionals would get more visas for New Zealand. “You cannot establish a business relationship without facilitation of movement of persons,” he added.

India and New Zealand are negotiating a Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (CECA) and have already completed four rounds of talks. The negotiations started in 2010. The CECA would cover trade in goods, services and investment.

According to official data, bilateral trade between the two countries amounted to $755 million in 2009-10.

India’s Commerce and Industry Minister Mr Anand Sharma, who is leading a high-level FICCI business delegation here, said the trade pact would have a separate chapter on services.

He said that the free trade pact in services “will ensure greater market access for both the service providers as well as movement of professionals (in New Zealand).’’

The Minister informed that both sides are also discussing the possibility of recognition of professional degrees on a reciprocal basis.

About 1.2 lakh Indians are residing in New Zealand. However, Mr Groser said that the sensitivities related with the services sector would be discussed.

“We will have to handle sensitivities around this. We cannot have unqualified people knocking our front doors and doing poor jobs,” he said, adding, “It (pact in services) is doable and it is also in our interest to facilitate services sector.”

The services sector is of key interest to India as it contributes over 55 per cent to its GDP.

Published on May 10, 2011
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