NZ Gov Gen for cooperation in tourism, agriculture, energy

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Mumbai, Sep 11 (UNI) Envisaging a vast prospect for bilateral co-operation with India, New Zealand Governor General Mr Anand Satyanand said both the countries should strengthen their cooperation in the highly potential fields of tourism, wind energy and agriculture.

Speaking at a meeting organised by Indian Merchants' Chamber (IMC) here today, the Governor General said he was on a six-day visit to India and had already met various dignitaries in the country for promoting bilateral co-operation between India and New Zealand.

He said over the past many decades New Zealand has developed advanced technologies in the field of animal husbandry and agriculture, especially in the food processing, cold storage, preservation packaging and transportation sectors.

Both the countries should take initiative to deepen and widen the their co-operation in the field of tourism, agriculture and animal husbandry, he asserted.

In the field of tourism, India figured high on his country's agenda as during year ending July 2008 about 24,000 Indian tourists visited New Zealand and stayed there for an average period of two weeks each, he said.

IMC President M N Chaini said that bilateral trade and tourism between the two countries were rising steeply in the recent past.

Between April 2006 and January 2007, India's exports to New Zealand rose to 299 per cent, and India's imports from New Zealand surged by 27 per cent during the corresponding period in the previous year. He said India-New Zealand bilateral trade was worth Rs 1,491-crore in 2005-06.

Mr Satyanand further said ''I am proud of my Indian heritage, even though I was born in New Zealand. My forefathers migrated from India to Fiji Island 120 years ago.'' UNI JM RN SKB2044

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