Auckland: India New Zealand Business Council Chairman Wenceslaus Anthony has described the New Zealand business delegation’s visit to India as “extremely successful” for the council.

Having the chairman and several members of the council accompany the prime minister on the delegation is “endorsement from the government that INZBC is the pre-eminent body to promote trade and business between India and New Zealand,” he told Indian Weekender.

The INZBC chairman addressed a joint business forum organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) and the Associated Chambers of Commerce (Assocham) in New Delhi. Prime Minister John Key and Indian Minister for Commerce and Industry Anand Sharma were the main speakers along with representatives from the three business bodies. Former New Zealand Cricket Captain Stephen Fleming also spoke.

The council was also represented at the banquet hosted by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, at Hyderabad House in New Delhi, which Mr Anthony attended. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh was pleased to hear about the council and its vision.

Along with FICCI a round table luncheon discussion was held with CII, ASSOCHAM and PHD Chamber of Commerce, an event that was sponsored by ANZ Bank. “This is a milestone achievement as INZBC will now be able to work alongside these bodies to enhance our profile in India and thus encourage various trade delegations and missions between India and New Zealand,” Mr Anthony said.

Mr Anthony said India’s Minister for Civil Aviation Vayalar Ravi indicated that Air India might start operating services between New Delhi and Mumbai to Melbourne in Australia. “I proposed to him during the meeting that Air India could extend its flights to Auckland as it would only take an additional about 3 to 4 hours thereby benefiting passengers from New Zealand. The minister said subject to approval from New Zealand, Australian government and Civil Aviation authorities, his ministry could consider a proposal to introduce services to Auckland via Melbourne,” Mr Anthony said.

Mr Anthony said his brief conversation with Bollywood officials indicated, “there is keen interest in the film industry to shoot films here as they were appreciative of the beauty of New Zealand.”

Speaking of the mission, Mr Anthony said, “Participation in this mission has enhanced the value proposition that INZBC offers its members in New Zealand. It was heartening to note that a number of INZBC members were included in the NZ Prime Ministerial delegation on their own merit, while few others had come on their own to participate in functions.

“Through all the linkages and associations that have been established and the recognition by the government, our members now have the full support of MFAT, NZTE, Indian High Commission in NZ, NZ High Commission in India, NZ Consul General Office in Mumbai and the business community.”